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Apple is so persnickety about design it tells third-party makers how to screw in screws

AP Images/Ryan Emberley/Invision for Apple
You can bet these lug screws are perfectly aligned.
  • Mike Murphy
By Mike Murphy

Technology editor

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Apple cares a lot about design. It has pages and pages of specifications on how to design apps for its software; it’s even rebranded third-party products’ packaging to look more Apple-like for its own stores. Today (Oct. 5), the company started selling lugs for its Apple Watches—the bit that connects the smartwatch to its strap—that companies can use if they want to sell their own Watch straps. In typical Apple fashion, the standards for putting the lugs together are exceedingly detailed.

The two-page document, highlighted by MacRumors, outlines how to assemble the lugs, which the company is selling through an authorized distributor, Avnet. Apple recommends using a “Atlas Copco model no. ETD M20 ABL” electric screwdriver to screw the tiny watchband screws into the lug. It also lists a set of instructions for how to screw in the screws themselves, which is presumably a thing that a company that makes accessories would already know how to do, but Apple clearly doesn’t want to take any chances. In the instructions, Apple lays out exactly how much torque to screw the screws with (“1.1Kgf*cm +/- 10%”), as well as the revolutions per minute at which the electric screwdriver should spin (120 RPM +/- 10%).

The end result, the instructions say, should be that the “screw is just sub-flush to the lowest part of the counterbore and appears parallel to the long axis of the lug.” Sir Jony Ive couldn’t have said it better himself.

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