“Apple was granted four design patents yesterday in Hong Kong China covering the Apple Watch Sport’s retail packaging & a connector with an on-off switch,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Several comments [on Patently Apple] suggested that the connector design was associated with the hidden data port,” Purcher reports. “If this design is associated with the Apple Watch, then will Apple introduce this with the Apple Watch 2 design or are they licensing this design to accessory makers?”

Purcher reports, “Time will tell, but for now, it appears that our fan base may have had it right in suggesting the connector was for the hidden data port.”

Apple Watch connector patent illustration

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Is this evidence of the “Apple Smartbands” about which we’ve been dreaming ever since we first saw the Apple Watch? Let’s hope so!

Who ever comes up with an accurate Apple Watch smartband that acts as a non-invasive blood glucose monitor (reverse iontophoresis) is going to make a mint.MacDailyNews, August 24, 2015

• Oh yes, let there be add-on GPS, battery extenders, and more! The thought of wearing our Apple Watch Sports but also having to lug around our iPhones on runs just for the GPS is unpalatable.MacDailyNews, March 5, 2015

We can’t wait to see where the future leads for Apple Watch especially in the areas of speed (apps need to respond faster) and independence (less reliance on iPhone, perhaps via Apple “smartbands” that deliver things like GPS tracking for runners, extended battery life, etc.) — MacDailyNews, December 17, 2015

We would love to see Apple launch Apple Smartbands that add sensor and other functionality to Apple Watch. An Apple GPS Smartband and an Apple Battery Smartband, right now, would sell like wildfire. It’s a missed opportunity for the original Apple Watch’s first Christmas, but we hope to see such items in 2016. — MacDailyNews, December 11, 2015

If Apple were to release a range of “Apple Smartbands” for the existing Apple Watch, starting with the “Apple Smartband GPS,” they would sell millions more Apple Watch units with this move alone. — MacDailyNews, February 19, 2016

SEE ALSO:
Apple likely to debut new Apple Watch bands at March event – January 27, 2016
‘Smartbands’ won’t stop Apple from releasing new Apple Watches every year – August 24, 2015
Charging the Apple Watch using its 6-pin accessory port – May 28, 2015
Apple Watch houses mysterious six-contact data connection port – March 5, 2015
Apple Watch’s hidden port a goldmine for developers, accessory makers – May 4, 2015