The Apple Watch 8 could look a lot like the Apple Watch 7

Apple Watch 7
The Apple Watch 7 (Image credit: TechRadar)

Bad news if you were banking on a major redesign for the Apple Watch 8 when it shows up later this year: the latest rumor around the smartwatch is that its design is going to remain largely unchanged from what we've got with the current version.

This comes from tipster ShrimpApplePro (via XDA Developers), and specifically refers to the "base" or standard version of the wearable. There might still be some aesthetic alterations on the premium version of the watch, if Apple releases one.

There were rumors around the Apple Watch 7 that suggested a flat-edged design was in the pipeline, but the 2021 model ended up looking a lot like the devices that had gone before it. Now it seems the Apple Watch 8 is going to follow suit.

Same again

The same source throws out a few more tidbits of information about the Apple Watch 8. We're apparently going to get the same 41 mm and 45 mm sizes this year, which should mean that all of the current replacement bands will work with the new models.

It would seem that there are going to be no new sensors on the watch, while the colors in the pipeline are said to be midnight, starlight, red, and silver for the aluminum version, and silver and graphite for the stainless steel version.

As for when we're actually going to get to see this wearable, the Apple Watch 7 made its debut on October 15, although previous versions were launched in September – so September or October seems like a good bet this time around too.

Analysis: if it's not broken...

While it might feel disappointing that Apple apparently isn't changing anything up with the design of the Apple Watch 8, it's also fair to say that the current design of the smartwatch is a classic and iconic one – and Apple shouldn't rush to change it.

Then there are all the straps and chargers and accessories that have been launched for the Apple Watch down the years. Modifying the form factor of the device means that it doesn't fit in as easily or as snugly with the current ecosystem of products.

There is, however, hope that Apple will introduce something new this time around. Some rumors point to the existence of a rugged or extreme edition of the Apple Watch, which may well shake up the aesthetics of the wearable, at least to some extent.

If the rumored wearable is going to take on the likes of Garmin's outdoor watches, then it's going to need a more durable exterior, and perhaps better protection for the screen. We'll have to wait and see what Apple has planned – but as soon as anything is official, we'll report it on TechRadar.

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.