Well, that was quick: Less than a day after leaked photos of the Apple Watch charging dock spread around the Internet, Apple put the $79 dock up for sale online and in Apple Stores.
Unlike third-party watch stands, which are essentially charger accessories, the official dock comes with the small inductive charging disc built in. You plug the whole dock into a wall charger using the Lightning cable it comes with. You can place your watch flat on top of the dock with the band undone, as you would on the standard charger it comes with, or you can raise the charging disc and wrap the watch around it to charge in Nightstand mode.
Why this matters: The dock is beautiful, to be sure. It’s also one of the more expensive Apple Watch charging docks on the market, and far more expensive than the $39 iPhone charging dock. Between this $79 charging dock and the $13 Siri remote wrist loop the company sells alongside the fourth-gen Apple TV, it’s beginning to look like Apple accessory pricing is out of control.
Of course, you don’t need a remote wrist loop or an Apple Watch charging dock. And if you really want a watch stand, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite third-party docks at various price points, including some that are more expensive than Apple’s official dock and don’t include an inductive charger in that cost. A new Apple Watch charging cable will cost you $29, if you lose or break the one included with the watch.
Apple Watch owners, is Apple’s new watch dock compelling enough to splurge on, or are you sticking to the simple charger your watch came with? Tell us in the comments.