Apple is strongly expected to launch a high-end version of its smartwatch this fall, likely branded as the Apple Watch Pro. But while the new device will feature a fresh design made from more rugged materials, it won’t change up the most fundamental aspect of the Apple Watch’s look.
Mark Gurman, Bloomberg’s Apple expert and one of the most famous leaker-pundits on the circuit, has claimed in his latest newsletter that the Apple Watch Pro will keep the iconic and divisive rectangular shape which has defined the device since its very first incarnation in 2015. Year after year, rumormongers and fans have speculated about the possibility that Apple will launch a circular model, but such hopes seem likely to be disappointed yet again.
“I’m told that the high-end model is going to be a good bit bigger than the standard Apple Watch,” writes Gurman, “and 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, and not circular. It also won’t have those rumored flat sides.”
That final sentence is a reference to another thwarted rumor, this time from last year: the Apple Watch Series 7 was widely predicted to feature iPhone 12-style flattened edges, but ended up with the same curves as before. The flat-edged Apple Watch rumour has since been revived for the Series 8, but that too now appears unlikely.
Returning to the central issue of the watch shape, the choice of case largely comes down to interface. A circle fits with 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 is arguably easier for software devs creating cut-down versions of iPhone apps for the smaller screen. Apple will undoubtedly have tested both in the development phase of the first Apple Watch, but settled on a ‘squircle’ (a square with rounded corners, and reportedly Steve Jobs’ favorite shape) and has stuck with it ever since.