Apple Watch 8 could have a new flat design - which we first saw a year ago

Apple Watch Series 7 images of watch on test
An Apple Watch 7 (Image credit: TechRadar)
Audio player loading…

Back before the launch of the Apple Watch 7, numerous leaks suggested the wearable would have a new design, with a flat screen and sides. And then, when it launched, this turned out to be wrong - it looked much the same as ever, albeit with a larger display. However it seems though that those leaks might have been right – just wrong about which Apple Watch would be getting this design.

That’s because according to leaker ShrimpApplePro (opens in new tab), an upcoming Apple Watch (likely the Apple Watch 8) has a flat display. Now, this leaker hasn’t got as much of a track record as some, so we’d take this with a pinch of salt, but Jon Prosser (opens in new tab) – who was the original leaker of the flat design last year – is taking it seriously.

Prosser claims that the unofficial renders he made were based on an actual photo he’d seen, so he’s certain that Apple was, or is, working on a watch with this design. He also noted that in his original leak he’d said he wasn't certain which model would get the design – and that the Apple Watch 8 was a possibility.

So with that in mind Prosser has updated his previous renders, some of which you can see in this article. They show the flat glass that ShrimpApplePro mentioned, along with the flatter sides that Prosser had previously expected.

However, even if these renders are accurate, there’s a chance that they don’t show the Apple Watch 8. We’ve also heard talk of a rugged Apple Watch, and Prosser claims that it’s entirely possible that’s what we’re seeing here. One way or another though, both Prosser and ShrimpApplePro think a wearable with this sort of design is coming from Apple this year.


Analysis: a change is a good thing

Is this design accurate? We’re not really sure. It’s the first we’ve heard of it (this year at least), and one early leak points to a familiarly curved design instead, but there aren’t any other conflicting reports. It’s also possible that both leaks are accurate – with one showing the Apple Watch 8 and the other the rugged Apple Watch.

But a reworked design could be a sensible move from Apple, as the Apple Watch 7 looked almost identical to the Apple Watch 6, so changing things could help the wearable feel fresh.

Given the number of reports showing a flat design last year we’re also pretty confident this is something Apple was at least considering, so there’s a good chance it will see the light of day.

Via Phone Arena (opens in new tab)

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.