Why Apple Watch Series 8 is unlikely to get a new square-edged design

Apple Watch Series 7 was one of the most anticipated Apple products of 2021 as rumors suggested that the device would get an all-new square-edged design. However, Apple’s latest smartwatch was announced with a rounded-edge design quite similar to the previous model, except for a larger display.

Widely-rumored future-generation Apple Watch flat-edged design (Image: Matt Talks Tech)
Widely-rumored future-generation Apple Watch flat-edged design (Image: Matt Talks Tech)

Filipe Espósito for 9to5Mac:

Based on rumors, Apple Watch Series 7 was expected to have a more industrial design similar to other current Apple products like iPhone 13 and iPad Pro. Some leaked schematics and 3D mockups even showed what the new Apple Watch would look like with flat edges…

Even small changes in industrial design require a lot of effort when it comes to building millions of units every month. Not only that, but design changes also cost money – which is why you don’t see radical design changes every year. As Apple Watch Series 7 has already brought some minor design changes this year, it’s hard to imagine that Apple Watch Series 8 will have a completely different look.

Based on some early leaked schematics, the Twitter account LeaksApplePro says that the only expected design change for Apple Watch Series 8 will be a redesigned speaker. Everything else should look exactly like it does on the Apple Watch Series 7.

MacDailyNews Take: Our problem with the squared-edged design has always been concerns about comfort. We wear our Apple Watches all the time. A square-edged design seems less comfortable, not more that the past and current Apple Watch design. With Apple Watch, Apple got the case design right the first time.

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  1. I had a cheap “square-edged design” watch years ago. Over time, it tore my pants up from where it rubbed as I reached into my pocket. Ruined several pants from the suits I wore. It was trouble.

    1. I just make the assumption that the squared off design is just what’s used by  for early internal prototypes because it’s easier to machine the square stuff in house while trying to test feature sets.

  2. It won’t happen because those rumor renders are ugly and uninspired. It looks like a tiny squarish iPhone with strap and knob sticking out one side. If Watch ever goes to a flat-top design, it will have a tapered edge (flat on top but thicker at the center) to appear impossibly thin when worn. AND the “Digital Crown” (the knob) will be replaced with something that does not stick out. It works and looks great with current rounded design because it is partly recessed into the edge curve. If it’s flat on top, the knob just sticks out awkwardly. Maybe one side could be a touch-based control bar, also replacing the other physical button.

  3. It’s entirely possible that the ergonomic research on the squared off design is just more uncomfortable to wear. Can you imagine what the reviews would be like? “Apple takes a step back with a watch that digs into your skin”. It’s for this reason that I’m glad the YouTube influencers don’t design products for Apple.

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