Apple Watch leak says a radical smartwatch redesign is coming

This flatter design was originally intended for the Apple Watch Series 7 but it looks like we'll see it this year

Apple Watch on an adult male's arm
(Image credit: Future)

If the below Apple Watch Series 8 image looks familiar, that's because it is: we expected it to be the design of the Apple Watch Series 7. In the end, Apple's best smartwatch to date didn't use this flatter design that we'd hoped for, but it now looks like Apple is going to deliver it on at least one version of the Apple Watch Series 8 later this year.

Well, that's according to reliable leaker ShrimpApplePro, who posted on Twitter (opens in new tab) that "there is a flat front glass display for Apple Watch". However, the leak didn't specify which model it was for or confirm that it's absolutely, definitely coming this year.

The reason I'm talking about multiple models is that this year, Apple is expected to have two versions of its latest smartwatch at the same time: one for mere mortals like me, and a rugged Apple Watch for athletes, extreme sportspeople and people who just really like rugged watches.

Render of new flat design for Apple Watch Series 8

A render of the rumored new flat-design Apple Watch.

(Image credit: Jon Prosser / @RendersbyIan)

Why flat fits with Apple's other kit

We haven't seen the redesign in the flesh yet, but we've seen multiple renders that follow much the same theme: squared-off sides and gently rounded corners like the iMac 24-inch (2021), the 2021 MacBook Pro, the 2022 iPad Air and the iPhone 13. There's no doubt that these different devices all share the same design principles, and the renders of the flat Apple Watch Series 8 fit perfectly among them, with very similar proportions. 

I think it looks great. I really like my Apple Watch Series 7 but it's still rather bulky, especially in its smaller version, and it won't do the Watch any harm to get a design refresh in the same year we'll see the good-looking Google Pixel Watch and the hotly anticipated Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. The current Apple Watch may be less of a lozenge than before but this is one device I'd prefer to be a little slimmer.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).