Apple Watch 7 rumor hints at a redesign, but does it actually need one?

apple watch 7 leaked render
(Image credit: 91Mobiles)

The Apple Watch launched back in 2015, and in the years since the design hasn’t gone through any dramatic changes. But the Apple Watch 7 might, according to the latest rumor. It’s apparently not set to be a huge change, but one that could be significantly noticeable.

Or at least that’s what a set of reportedly leaked CAD renders (via 91Mobiles) show, seemingly showcasing an all flat design and larger speaker grills. There’s still the same rectangular design as before, and the digital crown, but this still marks the Apple Watch’s first major redesign. The only question is, does it actually need it?

Apple users will no doubt be familiar with the saying “it just works." It’s a phrase used to describe the effectiveness of Apple products, and the fact that the company isn’t one to take a gamble on something that isn’t completely necessary.

You could argue that the Apple Watch design has barely changed in six years because the original design does indeed just work and is totally effective for doing what Apple and its customers need the smartwatch to do.

apple watch 7 leaked renders

(Image credit: 91Mobiles)

Or, in other words, it means this rumored redesign would only happen if Apple felt it was absolutely necessary. It also explains why the Apple Watch 7 renders keep the same rectangular design as ever, rather than something more outlandish — like Apple’s first circular smartwatch.

These renders also show off the same band-attachment mechanism as previous Apple Watches. Taken at face value it would mean that the Apple Watch 7 would likely be compatible with older bands, regardless of the changes to the design. Incompatible designs wouldn’t “just work” now, would they?

Of course, there is an argument for more drastic Apple Watch redesigns. After all, a lot of the competition has switched from the rectangular “screen” design to something circular and watch-like. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, and its predecessors, are great examples of how you can have a smart device without making it look like a wrist computer.

apple watch 7 leaked renders

(Image credit: 91Mobiles)

But Apple isn’t one for doing something just because the competition is doing it as well. Especially since the Apple Watch’s rectangular design A) works and B) is popular enough to sell in great numbers. Apparently there were 30 million new Apple Watch users in 2020 alone, so clearly a blocky design isn’t exactly putting people off.

In any case it indicates Apple isn’t likely to be making any sweeping changes to the Apple Watch’s design unless it had a good reason for it.

Unfortunately these renders are still unverified by Apple, so we can’t be entirely sure that Apple really will be altering the design of the Apple Watch 7 to this degree. But there have been rumors that the incoming smartwatch will come with a flatter display and flat edges — both of which seem to be corroborated by 91Mobiles renders. But it’s not exactly proof.

Also rumored to be coming is blood glucose monitoring, swim tracking, and a better display that’s closer to the surface than previous watches. 91Mobiles sources also added that the Apple Watch 7 will be a couple of millimeters bigger and thicker, and may come with ultra wideband support like the Apple AirTags.

Not only will that make it easier to integrate with Apple’s ‘Find My’ network, it may also offer better connectivity with other devices, like smart locks, for instance.

We don’t know exactly when the Apple Watch 7 will arrive, but it’s likely to be unveiled alongside the iPhone 13 range. Typically that happens sometime in mid-September, and so far we’ve heard nothing to suggest this year will be any different. So we don’t have very long to wait and find out for sure.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.