Apple is highly expected to launch a high-end version of its smartwatch this fall, likely under the name Apple Watch Pro. But while the new device will reportedly have a “fresh” design made from more robust materials, it doesn’t look like Apple will change the most fundamental aspect of the Apple Watch’s appearance.
Mark Gurman, Bloomberg’s Apple expert and one of the most famous leaker experts on the track, has claimed in his latest newsletter that the Apple Watch Pro will retain the iconic shape that has defined the device since its very first incarnation in 2015. For years, rumor makers and fans have speculated about the possibility that Apple will launch a circular model, but such hopes seem likely to be running again.
“I’m told that the high-end model will be a lot bigger than the standard Apple Watch,” Gurman writes, “and that the device will have a fresh look — the first time the company has introduced a new Apple Watch design since.” 2018. It will be an evolution of the current rectangular shape, not circular, nor will it have those rumored flats.”
That last sentence is a reference to another thwarted rumor, this time from last year: The Apple Watch Series 7 was widely predicted to have iPhone 12-style flattened bezels, but ended up with the same sleek curves as before. The Apple Watch rumor with flat bezels has since been revived for the Series 8, but that too now seems unlikely.
Coming back to the central issue of the watch’s shape, the choice of case largely comes down to the interface. A circle fits the traditional idea of what a watch should look like, and suits an analog dial; but a square or rectangle is better for displaying text, and arguably easier for software developers creating scaled-down versions of iPhone apps for the smaller screen. Apple will no doubt have tested both in the development phase of the first Apple Watch, but it came up with a “squircle” (a square with rounded corners, and is said to be Steve Jobs’ favorite shape) and has continued to do so ever since.
The new Apple Watch models are expected to appear this fall alongside the iPhone 14; you can follow the latest rumors with our Apple Watch Series 8 guide and the 2022 Apple Watch SE which will be regularly updated until the announcement.
If that feels too far off, browse our guide to the best Apple Watch deals and grab a bargain on the current range.