Next Apple Watch could make a big change — and it’s bad news for current users

Apple Watch 9
(Image credit: Apple)

If you’re an Apple Watch owner who's accumulated a variety of bands for the best smartwatch, Apple may have some bad news for you next year.

According to serial Apple leaker Kosutami, the band connection system in the Apple Watch will get a complete redesign in the coming year. That means all existing watchbands will be incompatible with future releases like the Apple Watch 10.

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Since its 2015 debut, the Apple Watch has used the same watchband latching system, allowing those who have owned previous models to reuse the same watchbands should they upgrade to subsequent versions of the watch. Even as Apple changed the Apple Watch design over the years, the company stopped short of making such a major change to its band connection.

The move could spark outrage among Apple Watch owners who have purposefully bought multiple bands to swap out whenever they see fit. If the new Apple Watch has a new connection, those people have two options — stick with their older, ostensibly less-capable model or throw out all of their bands in favor of new versions. The latter option would be decidedly costly.

That said, a possible middle road would see Apple unveil its new latch system, but also offer an adapter that would allow for older watchbands to be compatible with the new Apple Watch. Providing that adapter in the box and not charging customers for it would be even better.

Apple hasn’t commented on its future Apple Watch plans, let alone what it has planned for its watchband connection. However, Kosutami’s claims follow a Bloomberg report from earlier this year saying Apple was planning a major Apple Watch design change.

According to sources in the Bloomberg report, Apple wants to change the latch system in the upcoming Apple Watch 10 because the internal components that make it work take up “a considerable amount of space.” By freeing that space up, the company could instead offer a bigger battery or add other internal components.

Apple Watch rumors have been piling up in recent days. Several reports claim Apple is indeed planning to call the 2024 flagship Apple Watch the Apple Watch X or Apple Watch Ten. The company is also reportedly planning a major redesign, a blood pressure monitor, and even a sleep apnea detector inside the watch.

It’s still unclear exactly when this version of the Apple Watch will launch, though Apple tends to put out new versions in the fall alongside the latest iPhones. That means we've got many months to go, with more rumors providing key details about the watch's features and price.

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Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.