The Apple Watch 7 could finally get a new look after six-generations of consistent design, potentially sporting a flexible wraparound display.
That's going by a new Apple patent (opens in new tab), spotted by MacRumors (opens in new tab) that proposes an Apple Watch design contoured to fit around the wearer's wrist. This would not only be a radical departure from the square aesthetic of the current Apple Watch models, but also offer a design that stands out for other smartwatches like the impressive Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.
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While we've seen several Apple Watch patents before, including one for an Apple Watch with a circular face, previous concepts seem archaic compared to this new one. The patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) shows off an integrated display that bends and moves with the smartwatch's band.
Like many of the best smartwatches, the Apple Watch allows you to swap out the straps with a multitude of watch bands. To retain that level of personalization, the wearable in the patent allows users to switch things up with digitally-customizable bands.
But because the display isn't limited to just the traditional watch face area, it opens up the smartwatch for all kinds of new functionality, if this is the direction Apple chooses to go in.
Another bonus of the flexible display is the fact that Apple can shrink the bezel down or do away with it entirely. According to the patent, the bezel could be "below 4-5mm or even less than 1mm, less than 0.5 mm, or eliminated."
We've already seen flexible displays in TVs and smartphones, like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Oppo's new rollable handset. The technology exists, it's just a matter of supporting it in a way that keeps the Apple Watch durable and within a competitive price range. Apple certainly won't rush out a flexible Apple Watch, making the same mistake Samsung did with its first attempt at the Galaxy Fold.
It's not the only device with a flexible display that Apple has conceptualized either. According to reports, the tech giant is beavering away on the rumored foldable iPhone Flip that could take the form of a clamshell, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.
Just like you shouldn't hold your breath for a foldable iPhone, a foldable Apple Watch probably isn't coming any time soon. It definitely won't materialize with the Apple Watch 7, although it would give Apple's flagship a major edge over the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.
- More: Check out our Apple Watch SE review