I Probably Won't Buy Another Apple Band...

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Accessories' started by exxxviii, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. exxxviii, Aug 18, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015

    exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #1
    I now own a set of clone sport bands, a couple clone leather bands, and a stylistic-clone space gray link band. The quality is so high on them that I cannot justify buying another Apple band.

    The sport bands are a very close knock-off. There are only a couple very minor nits that differentiate them from the Apple bands. But, they are also 1/10 the cost of the Apple bands, so for $5 each, spending $50 is kind of crazy.

    The leather bands are a perfect clone. I cannot tell the difference. So, at 1/5 the cost, there is no chance that I will buy an Apple leather band... ever.

    The SS link bracelet looks like an AW band. It lacks the toolless link design, the DLC coating, and the recessed clasp. However, it is virtually indistinguishable when I am wearing it. The finish may not be as strong, but it does not need to be. It will likely last as long as I own the watch. And, I will not change the links again in the life of the band, so the toolless design is moot as well. At less than 1/4 the cost of the black SS band, it is a no-brainer.

    My last shopping list item is a decent black or space gray Milanese loop clone.

    Apple's bands are so grossly overpriced that it actually makes me a little angry at Apple. I hope many see the light and Apple drastically cuts prices. I would buy a sport band for $20 and a leather for $60. I probably would not buy a SS link unless they were well under $200, but the engineering is driving that up. It is just that the engineering does not matter to me.
     
  2. Bbqthis macrumors 6502a

    Bbqthis

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    #2
    The replica Swiss watch industry has not driven prices of authentic pieces down. Don't hold your breath.
     
  3. nicho macrumors 68000

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    #3
    the difference is the materials. plastics and leathers, especially, could contain anything. to produce that sports band for $5, who knows what materials might have been substituted?

    then there's the question of testing and prototyping to get the fit and finish, that the knock offs don't have to bother with. and also, say the cost to apple (and the knock offs, given they have a lesser economy of scale but almost certainly less expensive materials) is $2. that means the knock off makes $3 (split between the chain of sellers along the way) and apple makes $48. if they reduce the cost to $20, they then make $18 - they have to sell more than 2.5x as many to make the same profits. that would only be an issue they'd think about if (by my quick maths) 60% of people wanting a band (who would have bought one no matter the maker or price) decided to buy the cheaper third party one and save $45. i just don't think that would ever happen.

    apple essentially get to set their own prices in this market. i don't think you could really get angry about that - at least they haven't done something so proprietary that you don't have the option to spend less.
     
  4. exxxviii thread starter macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #4
    Other Apple accessories are more reasonably in-line with the knock-off market. For example, Apple's silicone and leather cases for my iPhone 6 are a little pricey, but not outrageous compared to the cheaper knock-off versions. So, I bought the Apple case for my phone. Apple just chose a massive price point for the watch accessories relative to market that is not consistent with their other accessory pricing. Good for Apple, if they can sustain it. As for me, their pricing tactics degraded the Apple brand a little bit in my mind.
     
  5. Bbqthis macrumors 6502a

    Bbqthis

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    #5
    Do you hate Tiffany's because they make a ring you can't afford?
     
  6. exxxviii thread starter macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #6
    Where did "hate" come from? Strange question. No, I do not hate Tiffany's, and I own some Tiffany jewelry.
     
  7. Bbqthis macrumors 6502a

    Bbqthis

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    #7
    Hate was the wrong word. But it was faster to type than "Does the existence of Tiffany's jewelry that falls outside of your price range degrade their brand to you"? But now you've gone and made me type it...
     
  8. exxxviii, Aug 19, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015

    exxxviii thread starter macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #8
    That is the wrong question. Same as the reference to the Swiss luxury watch market.

    Tiffany and Swiss luxury watches are premium products, and one of the driving reasons people purchase them is for the brand recognition. The Apple Watch is a premium brand and I agree with the comparison of the watch to the Tiffany and Swiss brand luxury experiences.

    However, the AW bands are accessories, and the brand experience is not as significant. The bands are not branded beyond that they may be recognizable as Apple products by appearance to some. It is the watch itself that matters.

    So, a very course analogy to your Tiffany reference might be something like this... Suppose you buy a nice Tiffany ring, and Tiffany wants to charge you $150 for their Tiffany Blue box. However, you know that you can buy an indistinguishable box for only $30. It seems to me you would be foolish to buy the $150 box. And yes, if Tiffany asked $150 for a box that I could buy elsewhere for $30, then their brand would be degraded to me.
     
  9. Mojopin, Aug 19, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015

    Mojopin macrumors regular

    Mojopin

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    #9
    I have gotten a # of different 3rd party bands (HOCO, Leather Loop, Milanese, Link) at great discounts vs the OEM bands. Yes, there are some very nice 3rd party bands. BUT, in most cases I ended up selling/returning most of them in lieu of getting a used OEM one. There's just something about the piece of mind I have when wearing an OEM band with OEM adapters vs a cheaper alternative that may prove to be more expensive in the long run if something happens ie adapter breaks, band snaps. I imagine the QC of 3rd party bands isn't as rigorous as an OEM product, as I have seen variations between same model bands on the boards etc. I also don't know how the longevity of the bands/adapters has been tested. For Apple to put their name on a product I would imagine the QC has to be at a certain level albeit there are always going to be issues/defects still but the failure/defect rate surely must be much lower than 3rd party products.

    I know OEM is still not 100% guaranteed and things do happen as well, but just with the $ I invested into the SS model I like having the genuine bands and I'll gladly pay a mark up for that. But again I have been lucky enough to get used OEM bands for a nice price, so I haven't paid full price either for OEM.
     
  10. doboy macrumors 68000

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    #10
    I wish Louis Vuitton would drop their prices since knockoffs are indistinguishable.
     
  11. nicho macrumors 68000

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    #11
    the "cheaper knock offs" i believe you are comparing it to are probably made by companies chasing the same market as apple, looking to make the same profits and therefore inflating their prices just the same. i bought a case for my spare iphone for under $2. how does that make apple silicone cases look, price wise. about 20x the price i paid? SHOCKING.

    still bought my wife and i the official ones as replacements a week ago, despite knowing i could get much much much cheaper cases out here.

    apple sells the watch with a watch band included. you buy the one you want. you aren't forced to buy more. it shouldn't really make you angry.
     
  12. exxxviii thread starter macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #12
    Let me get this straight... You elected to spend $35 on an OE Apple phone case when you knew of an identical knock-off for $2? Why did you spend the extra $33? Do you have a link for the knock-off? I have not seen anything comparable to the Apple silicone iPhone 6 case for that price. It sounds like a real bargain.
     
  13. nicho macrumors 68000

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    #13
    well, no. that's the point. it's not an identical knock off from what i saw, its got a couple of minor bits that differentiate it from the proper case... but it's still a case. i bought the apple one specifically because i can trust it let my iphone dock in my poorly-designed speakers while in the case; in the same way i bought the apple bands because i can trust them not to be radioactive or full of cancer causing stuff. the knockoff might have had the same cut outs, it might not. like i said, who knows what corners the knock offs are cutting to make a profit. i've seen a good few pictures on taobao of the fake leather loops shredding and falling apart at the sides, for instance.


    the other reason i bought the OEM cases for my phones (and also an OEM blue sports band at the same time) was convenience - i happened to be going past an apple store, tried on the blue band (to see if i liked the shade or if it looked bad on my skin) and bought it. obviously, having already had others i didn't need to test the quality. a few months earlier i had tested the ML in store and loved it so much i bought it. my point being; one of the reasons that apple can charge so much is that they are happy for people to come into store, try it, be convinced and buy it. conversely, the knock offs are priced so low so that people can take a punt and if they don't like it or think its crap, they'll just forget about it and go "oh well it's cheap". you can't really try something out if it only exists online; if the knock offs were priced closer to apples people probably wouldn't bother with them.
     
  14. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030

    NovemberWhiskey

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    #14
    Which leather clone did you get? Link?

    What were the small differences with the sport bands that differentiated from the originals?
     
  15. exxxviii thread starter macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #15
    Ok, that makes sense. But it is a little different than what I am talking about here. These knock-offs are so good that most people couldn't tell the difference. Or (in the case of the black SS band) they are good enough that the differences do not matter.

    I bought one Apple OE band, largely because of convince and trust. But I certainly would not have bought as many as I have now at Apple prices. Now that I have the clones, I realize that I wasted $45 on the OE band.
     
  16. exxxviii thread starter macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #16
    Sport bands are Moko from Amazon
    Leather loop bands are lnkoo888 from eBay http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Lea...m-42mm-/381359923558?var=&hash=item58cad2a166

    The fake sport are not quite as heavy, the locking inserts are not colored to match the bands, the mold seams on the edges are slightly more visible than the apple seams, and the fit at the band to case is not quite perfect. None of this is visible at more than a foot away.

    The black SS appearance matching clone is from bezprice, igloves2010, battery_sky, & others on eBay.
     
  17. doboy macrumors 68000

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    #17
    I would argue that knockoffs aren't "so good" in most cases. They are just good enough for the cheap price. I too have the Moko bands and I buy them because they are cheap even though quality isn't on par with Apple's.
     
  18. doboy macrumors 68000

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    #18
    The third party (Moko) bands are made from different material (silicone) and it attracts a lot of dust. It's also much thinner & lighter, but that makes it somewhat more comfortable.
     
  19. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030

    NovemberWhiskey

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    #19
    So the Leather Loop is perfect? None of the fitment/quality issues?

    Is it real leather?
     
  20. exxxviii, Aug 20, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015

    exxxviii thread starter macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #20
    This is not my experience. The Moko bands feel the same and do not attract dust any differently than the OE bands. Silicone can have a variety of surface finishes and compounds. The Moko mimic the Apple bands in feel and texture.

    Also, the Moko bands are slightly lighter, probably because of the weight density differences of the materials. I am not sure it is any thinner, but I do not have a micrometer to measure for sure. I suspect that the thickness difference is perception due to the weight difference. I would not say that they are "much" of either.

    I saw your pictures and comments about the Moko bands in the other knock-off threads, and yours do not look anything like mine. Your mold flashing is much more prominent, for example. You could see at a glance that they are not Apple. Mine are more similar to Apple. I wonder if Moko's quality improved between the batches that you got and I got.
    My fitment and quality look perfect. They are indistinguishable from the Apple bands.

    The seller says they are leather, and they look and feel like leather. The only way to know they are not would be to cut one apart. I probably won't be doing that.
     
  21. Aluminum213 macrumors 68040

    Aluminum213

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    #21
    Clones are never going to drop the price of the legit bands. Don't believe me? Look at the watch industry, hasn't made 1% different


    I'll keep buying apple bands, I don't mind paying the extra amount for the authenticity and quality
     
  22. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #22
    Don't know about the silicone cases, but I just ordered this knockoff leather iPhone case for $5 as opposed to the $50 Apple charges. Judging by the photos posted by users in the reviews, it seems to be identical. I guess I shall see when it arrives. I got the brown one for my white iPhone 6.
     
  23. broadbean macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    You can put whatever bands on your Apple Watch, for whatever reason, and they would all be valid - to you.

    I have the Sport Band that came with my Sport, and with the wife's Sport, I also got her a genuine Milanese Loop. These are the only genuine Apple bands we have and we can't be happier with them.

    The Milanese Loop is still a terrific buy from Apple, and if you didn't mind the slight differences and if you weren't unlucky to have the fake Loops break on you while you're wearing it, there are plenty of excellent, cheap alternatives.

    I'm currently wearing a good but not perfect Leather Loop copy, and I think the wife also like hers, especially since Apple didn't make a 38mm one.

    I would however, consider another Apple Sport Band if they made it in other colours like orange, or yellow, or navy. The Apple Sport Band is the only one I'd trust to jump into a pool or hot tub with my Watch Sport!
     
  24. Mac2me macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Apart from the aesthetic issues of some of the knockoff bands, people are now starting to report failure of some of them. Link failure, mesh failure, adapter button failure. Read the non-OEM watch band and adapter threads. So far sounds like people have been lucky to not have damaged their watches but you know that it's just a matter of time and those that have had failures are counting themselves lucky. Don't swear off Apple bands just yet. You do get what you pay for.
     
  25. srshaw macrumors 6502

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    Aug 13, 2011
    #25
    I'll buy genuine ones, but each to his own. To me its like buying an expensive car and sticking crappy tyres on it. Just doesn't look right.

    Having said that I'm sure most people wouldn't notice.
     

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