Apple Watch Link Bracelets and Milanese Loops are being sold off cheap as rumors of future incompatibility swirl

Metal Apple Watch Bands
(Image credit: Apple/Future)

If you work at Apple and wear an Apple Watch, now might be a very good time to check out what deals are being offered on the rather excellent Milanese Loop and Link Bracelet bands because, according to one report, they're being sold off for an absolute steal.

That report claims that Apple is selling the two high-end metal bands to employees with a huge 40% saving. The result is that Apple Watch owners can pick up a Link Bracelet for $209, a discount over the usual $249 asking price. The Milanese Loop would normally sell for 99 but Apple employees can pick one up right now for just $59.

Apple regularly offers discounts on products depending on stock levels and what other products are coming down the line, but it isn't yet clear exactly what Apple's plans here might be. However, there have been some suggestions that Apple intends to change the way Apple Watch bands are installed for the first time ever when the Apple Watch X ships this fall. 

Apple Watch X compatibility

This latest Apple Watch band news comes via MacRumors which also notes that Apple employees can also receive 50% off a number of different Black Unity and Pride Edition bands as well as the Midnight Sport Band.

As mentioned, Apple is tipped to launch a big Apple Watch redesign this fall and it's been said that we should expect changes to the way the Apple Watch's bands are held in place. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman wrote way back in September of last year there was a belief within Apple that the current way that bands are attached simply takes up too much space.

"With the X model, Apple designers are working on a thinner watch case and have explored changing the way bands are attached to the device," Gurman explained in his Power On newsletter. "People involved in the development of new Apple Watches say the system takes up a considerable amount of space that could be better filled with a bigger battery or other components."

Gurman continued, saying that "the company has explored a new magnetic band attachment system, though it’s unclear if it will be ready or used in the Watch X revamp." However, it's important to note that Gurman did say that it was unclear whether the change would be ready in time for the Apple Watch X.

Apple is expected to announce the new watch, likely alongside a refreshed Apple Watch Ultra, at an event in September. That event will also surely see Apple announce the new iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro models, too.

In terms of what the Apple Watch X will offer, we've already learned that a new microLED display is out of the question. It isn't yet known what the overall design will look like but it's possible that Apple will try to make the watch thinner and lighter, possibly as a result of that change in band design. We haven't heard anything to suggest that Apple will stray away from the 41mm and 45mm sizes, either.

The first Apple Watch was released in 2014 and Apple is thought to want to celebrate its 10-year anniversary with something special. It's a pattern it followed with the Apple Watch X in 2017, so it stands to reason that something similar could happen with what Apple sees as one of its most important products thanks in part to its life-saving capabilities.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.