New patent points to a round Apple Watch

What's Apple got up its sleeves for the next round of Apple Watches? Quite possibly one with a round face, according to patents recently filed by the Cupertino company.

Published this week, the patent filings show a circular display atop a wearable device, which means Apple could be planning to follow the trend set by Pebble and several Android Wear devices by going round for its next smartwatch.

The documents go into some detail about how the round screen would be powered, with various bits of key circuitry enclosed in the frame around the edge. Pixels would be arranged in rows and columns of different lengths to create the circular effect.

Rounding up

As with any patent application, this isn't really proof that there's a rounded Apple Watch on the way - but it is evidence that Apple's thinking about it, at least. An upgraded but still rectangular Series 2 Apple Watch was launched in September.

As well as giving customers another shape to choose from, it would also mean developers having to adapt their apps and watch faces for a rounded display. With that in mind Apple could announce a new model well in advance of it actually going on sale.

With smartwatch sales not exactly booming, a different kind of design would make sense - Apple sells iPhones in two sizes, after all. We'll have to wait and see whether the Apple Watch Round actually becomes official.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.