“Made for Apple Watch” program goes official for third parties
The iPod was more than just a business for selling music and music players. Apple banked lots of money in the “Made for iPod” business model that allowed third-party manufacturers to make use of the old 30-Pin connector, in much of the same way we see today with the “Made for iPhone/iPad” program today. Apple is clearly not done with that business model, and following some recent rumors, it seems that the ease in swapping out Apple Watch bands had a purpose.
Apple has just published its guidelines for allowing third-party developers and manufacturers to create watchbands for the Apple Watch. Apple promises that “lugs” (watch band attachment modules) will be available soon, so it seems that Apple isn’t ready to allow third parties to build lugs of their own at the moment, sort of like the issues that we saw with third-party lightning cables about a year ago. This does raise some minor concern, as there’s no such thing as an affordable Apple Watch band, and having external companies depend on Apple for parts might not give them the option to sell bands at a competitive price.
Speaking of chargers, it seems that this program doesn’t cover the option for third parties to manufacture MagSafe compatible chargers for the Apple Watch. This could obviously evolve over time, and we’ll keep an eye on new developments.