With Pride Month just around the corner, and right on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), Apple has released two new products that honor the LGTBQ+ community. Apple Watch Pride Edition bands are two new gorgeously vibrant bands for the company's flagship smartwatch. Made to help celebrate, represent, and support the movement, the new bands are somewhat of a tradition by now — Apple has been releasing them yearly since 2016. This year, with two fairly subtle designs to choose from, Apple also adds a special App Clip functionality within the band that will let you customize the watch face to match your new wristband.
In its announcement, aside from presenting the two new bands, Apple talks about wanting to honor the work of many Black, Brown, and transgender activists that fought for equality through the years. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, said: "Even before the events at the Stonewall Inn brought the LGBTQ+ movement to new prominence, Black, Brown, and transgender activists were key leaders in the march toward equality. On many fronts, Apple supports the ongoing and unfinished work of equality for diverse and intersectional communities, and we want to provide every opportunity to celebrate and honor this history during Pride season."
The company also highlights its own involvement in the support of various LGTBQ+ advocacy organizations and charities. It notes that over the years, it has offered financial support to organizations such as Encircle, Equality Texas & Equality North Carolina, Gender Spectrum, GLSEN, and many more. Although Apple doesn't specify whether the proceeds from the Apple Watch Pride Edition bands will go directly to supporting these charities, the company certainly seems to be offering some help out of its own accord.
The first model is referred to as the "Braided Solo Loop" and it features an aesthetically pleasing collection of braids, interwoven together to signify the unity of the LGBTQ+ community. Aside from the well-recognized rainbow colors, the band also features black and brown to symbolize Black and Latinx communities as well as to honor those who suffer from HIV/AIDS or have passed away due to it. The mix of light blue, pink, and white represents the transgender and nonbinary communities. The band is made up of stretchable and recycled yarn braided with silicon threads and doesn't feature any buckles or clasps. Apple will be selling 12 different lengths of the band to ensure that everyone can find a matching size. You can use this band if you have an Apple Watch SE, Apple Watch Series 4, or later.
There's a second, more understated and more sporty model called "Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop." A collaboration with the popular sports brand, the white band shows off all six colors of the Pride rainbow. It's reflective, enabling running, cycling, and walking after dusk, and is infinitely adjustable, so it's a "one size fits all" type of product. The matching Nike Pride watch face adds a finish to the design. This band is compatible with the Apple Watch Series 3 or later.
Both of the bands can be ordered today from the official Apple website as well as the Apple Store App. You'll also be able to find them in brick-and-mortar stores starting from May 25, 2022. The Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop is priced at $99 on the U.S. market, but the Nike Sport Loop is considerably cheaper, arriving with a $49 price tag.