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Apple publishes stringent strap design guidelines for the Apple Watch

Apple has just published the guidelines for how third-party accessory manufacturers can make bands for its smartwatch on the company’s official developer website – and they make for interesting reading in the light of the discovery of the Apple Watch’s hidden port which we reported earlier today.

On its developer site, Apple states that bands for the smartwatch are easy to change via the simple release buttons and lugs which secure the strap, but when making custom bands, manufacturer should “refer to the band design guidelines and lug profile”.

As Gizmodo reports, the actual band design guidelines (which 9 to 5 Mac first spotted) state that magnetic chargers must not be integrated into third-party straps – raining on the parade of a number of crowd-funding projects – and there’s absolutely no mention of the hidden 6-pin port which the wrist band conceals.

This 6-pin port is by all accounts merely for diagnostic purposes, though some accessory firms have claimed the socket can be used for charging, and plan to build bands which can do just that. However, as Gizmodo notes, given the lack of any mention of said hidden port, Apple has effectively put the kibosh on such schemes – or at least getting an Apple-approved accessory along these lines, anyway.

As we discussed earlier, there are indeed possible safety fears as regards a potential third-party charging wrist band for the Apple Watch.

At any rate, it seems clear enough that Cupertino doesn’t want any fancy straps that can do extra stuff – it just wants vendors to differentiate their bands with materials and aesthetics, nothing more.

The cost of materials for the Apple Watch was also recently revealed, coming in at a total of just $83.70 (£55), which compared to the asking price of $349 in the US, and £299 in the UK, makes the smartwatch the most profitable device Cupertino has ever shipped (and as we know, Apple has always liked its premiums when it comes to hardware profits).

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.