Has anyone ever asked why are AW bands so expensive

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Accessories' started by Jackbat11, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Jackbat11 macrumors newbie


    Oct 9, 2017
    New Jersey
    $50 dollars for silicone? 20-35 could be argued as reasonable. For a product that 33 million people own, the watch bands apple sells should be reasonable.
  2. gatorknight904 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Dallas/Ft. Worth
    it’s actually fluoroelastomer

    everything apple makes is expensive

    just buy a knock-off from Amazon if you want silicone

  3. Treebark macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2010
    I have both the silicone knockoffs from amazon and eBay and official Apple fluoroelastermor bands. Apples feel better, are cooler (temperature) and I’ve had one silicone band break, but not apples. Apples material seems quite a bit better to me. 4x better? I don’t know about that.

    My path is to have official for workouts, but knockoffs for fun colors.
  4. technole macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2017
    I hate those knockoff "silicone" bands. I tried two out, but their powder kind of feel was annoying to me, not as breathable, and they aren't as durable. So I wouldn't even risk a pricer watch with one of those knockoffs.
  5. dfnj123 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2007
    New York, New York
    Why are Apple Watch bands so expensive? Because Apple knows people will buy them at their current prices. Simple as that. Free market economy.
  6. technole macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2017
    Tim Cook once said Apple wasn't in the business of cheap. I do think you get a pretty good value with Apple-branded bands even their leather buckle bands, they will last.
  7. xDKP macrumors 65816


    Feb 27, 2011
    Yeah I actually asked myself that, and ordered a ton of silicone, leather and other highly reviewed bands from Amazon for a fraction of the price.... But my God a massive difference - the knockoffs MIGHT look good/okay when you unbox them (some of them even don't) but from there on it's down hill - and down hill fast!
  8. broadbean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2007
    The question should be: why aren't any of the clones and knock-offs using Fluoroelastomer?

    If you could find me a proper alternative that does not suck, then we can have a proper debate why Apple's Sport Bands are so "expensive".
  9. rwilliams macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    I'd love to be able to try one of Apple's link bracelets for a day or two to see how different they feel from the knockoffs I've bought from Amazon. I just can't imagine how much better it would have to be to make me even consider paying $450 for a BAND.
  10. xDKP macrumors 65816


    Feb 27, 2011
    I have had three knock offs during my time with my SB and SS and found a great deal on a genuine one a year ago. In my humble opinion it’s a totally different league !

    Just the size system and they way it’s engineered is worth something.
  11. Ixidor macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2016
    Personally, I think the fluoroelastomer bands are reasonably priced. If it weren’t, third party copy-cats would’ve produced similar quality bands for a fraction of the cost. The fact that they have to resort to silicone is evident of this.

    The classic buckle leather bands are a little on the expensive side, but most leather bands on Amazon that retail under $50 (in my experience) are really really bad compared to the official ones (I bought a few and they were horrid).

    I think the link bracelet is reasonably priced. This band has many intricate parts that are carefully engineered. It took third parties several months to be able to replicate the link release mechanism (though I’m not sure how well they replicated it, and what they did to save money) but these aren’t exactly cheap either (for a third party copy-cat bracelet), though still a fraction of what Apple charges. The cheapest variants on Amazon simply use pins to hold the links in place, so if you are just going for the look, you can buy one of those. Two years ago, I bought one that used pins (because it was cheaper) and even then, the quality wasn’t good. I bought the official one couple of months back and loved it.

    The only truly overpriced band that Apple sells (imo) is the Milanese loop. Third-parties have managed to copy it with almost the same quality for $15-20. I have the one from Je-Tech and it is very difficult to tell it part from the official one. The official one is very very slightly thicker but you’d have to look very closely at both of them to see it. However, I’ve also bought Milanese loops from other companies that have had defects, so you need to find a reputable seller.
  12. SoN1NjA macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2016
    the pool
    $20 watch bands decrease the premium feel of the brand

    I’ll seem like a rich ******* in saying this, but I don’t want to wear a $20 watch band
  13. jbachandouris macrumors 601


    Aug 18, 2009
    Upstate NY
    Although I agree that many bands are overpriced, but the 2 Milanese loop knock off bands I saw in public looked like crap. I'd gladly overpay than put that ugly thing on my wrist.
  14. technole macrumors 6502


    Sep 22, 2017
    The airy difference and thickness with the Apple Milanese loop is already worth it. You can likely buy a good gently-used price on eBay i you really wanted to save a few bucks since many probably come from refurb earlier gen SS watches.
  15. Seamaster macrumors 65816


    Feb 24, 2003
    Go check out what Omega and Breitling charge for a rubber strap, then report back.
  16. xDKP macrumors 65816


    Feb 27, 2011
    And check their leather and steel bracelets while you're at it...
  17. nws0291 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    I agree. I mostly wear the same band daily. Have many apple bands though. The knock off bands feel like crap and look cheap. The $50 price point is well worth it.
  18. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    The answer to any question that begins with, "Has anyone....?" is always YES.

    Now, about the intent of the original question, which I suppose is, "Why?", I ran across this not too long ago:


    The FKM fluoroelastomer raw material Apple uses is seven times more expensive than the polyurethane and silicone that other strap makers use.

    Does it answer why Apple's straps are $50 instead of, say, $25? No, not really, because that's what tiered pricing is about. But it does answer why most third-party knockoffs feel like junk.
  19. Pseudo-Fed macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2017
    My issue with several 3rd party silicon bands is their dust collection. These things must have static charges. They attract dust and lint at 50 times the rate of my apple sport bands. I have a couple dark silicon bands and won't buy any more. Not as much an issue with lighter color bands---the dust is still there but not as obvious.
  20. LaurieAnn macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2011
    Exactly! I have a knock off cocoa brown silicone band and it attracts a lot of visible white fuzzies from kitchen towels, sweaters, blankets, etc.
  21. yui4 macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2011
    I had a knock off silicone band, my watch is looked after but one day the band detached from the metal magnetic strip that slots into the watch itself. I had to use something to push it out.

    Never again
  22. mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2012
    The watch bands, like all accessories Apple sells, are premium priced. I think, aside from just looking to maximize profits, also helps to create areas where third parties can jump in & create lower-priced products. And the more third parties you have invested in the success of your product, the better off you are. Apple could easily sell a $10 watch band, but then there wouldn't be any incentive for third parties to come out with $10 bands. It's the same reason why Apple doesn't sell $10 iPhone chargers, or even really update their 'Office' apps. They needed to have them on the iPad at first to make the iPads viable for mobile workers, but what they really wanted was Microsoft to port office, so that now Microsoft is also invested in growing the iPad market. Microsoft is happy because you need Office 365 to use the iPad version (for anything about 10").

    The third parties are happy to get a slice of the Apple Watch band market, and Apple is happy to know that every time they sell a watch band, they are likely making a profit of somewhere around $40 (assuming its sold directly by Apple), and if one is sold for less, that it's helping another company expand the Apple Watch market.
  23. MJ22 macrumors regular

    Oct 3, 2017
    I was skeptical of the high price of the sport bands but after wearing a cheaper silicone knockoff band for awhile, the fluoroelastomer takes the cake. It’s so comfortable to wear and the band has taken a beating and still looks great. Worth it to me.

    The wovens? Ehhh.
  24. Mikeeee macrumors 6502


    Sep 27, 2017
    I agree. I also have both and the Apple Watch Sports bands are far superior.
  25. barjam macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2010
    If the Apple bands are over priced then why hasn’t anyone created quality knockoffs yet?

    I would say they could be called overpriced the day someone creates a cheaper option of the same quality.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 18, 2018 ---
    It’s true of all bands, woven included. I have yet to see a single example of a knockoff being as good as the real deal.

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