Source: Jon Prosser x RendersByIan
As we've previously noted, the Apple Watch looked nothing like the wearable multiple leakers and insiders told us to expect, from our special report:
Probably the biggest surprise was Apple Watch. We'd been led to believe by multiple sources that Apple was planning a big Apple Watch design change. Just a day before the event Bloomberg's Mark Gurman noted in his Power On newsletter that "while the iPhone won't be seeing any momentous design changes, the Apple Watch will. Look for a flat screen and flat edges to match the iPhone and iPad design...". Even earlier, Gurman noted that this year's Apple Watch would be "all about a new design with a flatter display and edges, a faster processor and slightly larger screen." This rumor is reflective of renders and leaks from Jon Prosser, who also stated on multiple occasions that a big watch design change was on the way. Ming-Chi Kuo also stated that a new Apple Watch design was on the way. Whilst the Apple Watch's design did change, it didn't change at all in the way we thought it was. In fact, Apple was very careful to emphasize it had been "with softer, more rounded corners" and a display that appears to "seamlessly connect with the curvature of the case," just to really stick it to the leakers.
Jon Prosser noted in his Apple Watch Series 7 reveal video that a source had hinted at the prospect we might not be looking at the Apple Watch Series 7, but the Series 8. That insight has now been backed up than nonother than John Gruber over at Daring Fireball. Responding to speculation that Apple changed the design last minute because of supply issues, Gruber dismissed that notion out of hand and then stated:
This is not how hardware works. These designs are set long in advance. In fact, from what I've heard, the flat-edge watch designs might be legitimate leaks, but they're next year's designs. That's how far in advance Apple works on hardware — they were already in the advanced stages of designing the 2022 Apple Watches months ago.
Gruber isn't a leaker per se, but does have a proven track record of specific inside information and access behind the curtain at Apple.
Apple Watch brought more disappointment because we were also promised a new processor that didn't materialize. We did however get a slightly tweaked design with new Watch Faces, a larger display, and more durability.