There are a few quality control requirements: accessory companies have to put their bands through a 72-hour salt mist test to check for corrosion, test for slide-out force and pull force resistance, and make sure watch wearers can adjust their bands to ensure a snug fit, so that the heart rate sensor can accurately measure beats. They must also use materials that comply with Apple’s environmental standards.
Apple constantly calls Apple Watch its most personal device ever, and bands will become a huge part of that customisation. My white Sport band is great for running, but not the best for a night out in Manhattan. I expect designers like Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs – who already make iPhone cases – to jump on board with Apple Watch and make the device truly personal.
But I hesitate to shell out money for accessories that don’t follow Apple’s guidelines, because they might not work as promised. Now that Apple has a program for watch accessories, licensed products will come with the assurances that Apple’s backing brings.