The Apple Watch 8 isn't likely to land until September 2022, but we're already coming across leaks that detail Apple's next smartwatch – and the latest one takes the form of an unofficial render showing a design that's very familiar to its predecessor.
This comes via @LeaksApplePro (opens in new tab), a source that has been accurate in the past, and apparently there's only going to be one "noticeable change" in terms of the aesthetics of the wearable: an extra speaker grille on the side of the casing.
There's nothing particularly wrong with the design of the Apple Watch 7, but it seems as though those hoping for a refresh in terms of the looks of the device are going to be disappointed by the updated model that gets pushed out later next year.
Told you it was disappointing.Upon receiving CAD files and images, this will be the only noticeable change in design from the Series 7 to the Series 8.More info soon at @iDropNews pic.twitter.com/GQC40eIwk3November 18, 2021
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Changes on the inside
The rendering has been put together from CAD files and images sourced from Apple, apparently, so it's possible that the final design of the Apple Watch 8 is going to vary somewhat from the look that you can see in the tweet embedded above.
Another tidbit provided by the same source at iDropNews (opens in new tab) is that the Apple Watch 8 is going to come in a light green color, similar to the one available on the iPad Air. You can pick up the Apple Watch 7 in Blue, Midnight, Starlight, Green and Red.
Even if the design is more or less what we've seen before, the Apple Watch 8 could bring with it plenty of improvements and tweaks on the inside. Blood glucose monitoring has been rumored for the Apple Watch for a while now, and we could finally get it in 2022.
Analysis: what has happened to the flat design?
You might remember plenty of reports ahead of the Apple Watch 7 launch about it coming with a strikingly different, flatter design. As it turns out, those predictions weren't accurate – and it doesn't look like the flat design will make an appearance next year either.
So what has happened to it? Of course it's always possible that the rumors were simply wrong – it happens. But there did seem to be quite a lot of momentum behind the idea that Apple was weighing up a refresh in terms of the aesthetics of its smartwatch.
It would have made the Apple Watch more like the iPhone and the iPad in terms of its design approach, and Apple will want to ensure that the look of its flagship wearable doesn't grow stale over time – so a redesign was definitely plausible.
Perhaps the powers-that-be at Apple simply decided that the new look wasn't an improvement on the old one, or perhaps the company needs more time to refine the manufacturing process before making the switch. Don't rule it out for 2023.