Watch CBS News

​Why Apple Watch is rubbing some users the wrong way

Apple's first piece of wearable tech is rubbing some buyers the wrong way.

Termed "wrist-gate" by PC Magazine, the problem is developing for some buyers, who have broken out into rashes after coughing up $550 or more for one of the watches. A discussion broke out on Reddit, with one user writing, "I'm definitely dealing with an allergic reaction of some kind."

The culprit could be the small amounts of nickel used in the plastic Apple Watch Sport or metal Watch edition bands, with Apple noting on a support webpage that "a small number of people will experience reactions to certain materials." People with allergies or sensitivities to nickel and methacrylate, a widely used adhesive, may be at risk, given the watch and some bands contain those materials, the company said.

"Another potential cause of discomfort is wearing your Apple Watch too tightly or loosely," the company said. "If you experience redness, swelling, itchiness, or any other irritation, you may want to consult your physician before you put Apple Watch back on."

Apple (AAPL) didn't respond to a request for comment.

The Apple Watch isn't the first piece of wearable tech to cause a rash in its users.

Fitbit recalled its activity-tracking wristband, the Fitbit Force, after customers complained of rashes, burn-like symptoms, and blisters. In that case, the company received almost 10,000 reports of skin irritation and about 250 reports of blistering, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The problem was that some users developed allergic reactions to its stainless steel casing, as well as adhesives used in assembling the wristband. Given Fitbit sold one million units in the U.S., the recall was a huge setback for the company, as well as for wearable tech devices.

Still, skin rashes probably aren't high on the list of potential concerns for Apple's gung-ho customers, many of whom eagerly snap up any new products from the tech giant. One analyst estimated last month that the number of pre-orders had likely exceeded 2.3 million units, although most consumers won't receive their Apple Watches until June.

Some experts have raised a number of security concerns about the devices, such was whether hackers will target them, or whether some users themselves might turn the watch into eavesdropping devices.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.