Update: our Apple event rumors live blog is now live, so come check out the latest rumors and updates from the Far Out keynote as they happen.
The Apple Watch 8 Pro and Apple Watch 8 are expected to arrive at the Apple event on September 7, but case images shared by UnclePan on Weibo (opens in new tab) (tweeted by DuanRui (opens in new tab)), plus some real-life shots from Sonny Dickson (opens in new tab) may have confirmed the design of the Pro model early.
We can see the Apple Watch 8 Pro would have a new, squarer look based on the cases in these images, as has been previously rumored. As well as flat sides and a flat display, the cases have two openings for the left side of the smartwatch, which normally only features the Apple Watch's speaker. These gaps look like they could be for extra buttons, although what they'd do is uncertain since you can already control the Apple Watch effectively via the touchscreen and Digital Crown.
This new design is also said to come with a titanium casing by default, rather than the much softer aluminum that the Apple Watch 7, and presumably the Apple Watch 8 too, have as standard. And speaking of the Apple Watch 8, Apple's new regular smartwatch is not believed to be following this redesign. It is instead expected to retain the curved edges of the Apple Watch 7.
There may be a downside to the tipped Pro smartwatch design though. The rumor mill has also suggested that existing Apple Watch bands may not fit the Pro model, meaning anyone looking to upgrade will need to build up their strap collection again.
A high price
As well as these design details, Mark Gurman's latest Power On newsletter (opens in new tab) has made some Apple Watch 8 Pro pricing predictions, with Gurman claiming the new Pro watch will cost around $900 or $1,000 dollars.
It's not the first time we've heard this type of price, which would presumably be a lot more expensive than the Apple Watch 8 (likely to start at $400) and Apple Watch SE 2 (likely to cost $279) which are also predicted to appear at the Far Out event. That's kind of the point though, as Gurman says the Pro watch is intended for "heavy-duty athletes like mountain bikers, hikers and marathon runners," a segment that Apple currently doesn't cater for specifically.
The Apple Watch 8 Pro is thought to come with a larger display, as well as the new titanium design mentioned before, plus the same low-power mode and body temperature sensor rumored for the standard Apple Watch 8. As a result, both could be contenders for a spot on our best smartwatches.
We're less than 72 hours out from the Apple event, so you've got time to make sure you're caught up with all the rumors. Look at our Apple Watch 8, Apple Watch 8 Pro, Apple Watch SE 2, iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro and AirPods Pro 2 hubs, and you'll be ready for everything Apple's expected to show off on September 7.