Did Apple Just Leak a Round Apple Watch?

Is Apple considering the possibility of going round with the Apple Watch?

That's a question many are asking after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday published a patent application from the company on a "charging apparatus for wearable electronic device" technology.

A new patent points to a possible round Apple Watch. Credit: USPTO

(Image credit: A new patent points to a possible round Apple Watch. Credit: USPTO)

The patent centers on a method for boosting the battery life of the smartwatch, but oddly includes images of not a rectangular Apple Watch, but a round version.

But first, the patent.

Apple's application, which was discovered by 9to5Mac, centers on a technology that would place what amounts to an external power source on the smartwatch's band. From there, the power is transferred to the smartwatch, effectively boosting its battery life far beyond what you'd find in the built-in battery. The patent application calls for a separate "apparatus" that would attach to a band, or, in some cases, would be embedded directly into the band. In either case, it would deliver power to the device.

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The patent application is the latest in a growing line of patents Apple has sent to the USPTO related to using a smartwatch band to add features to the device. Last month, for instance, a patent surfaced, detailing links within the band that could add a camera, touchscreen, and other features to a smartwatch.

Considering smartwatch cases are rather small and getting smaller, Apple apparently believes that the watchband could be useful in enhancing its features and delivering more power.

But what about the latest patent application's drawings? In most smartwatch patents, Apple displays images that look like its Apple Watch, rectangular face and all. But in this patent application, it's showing a round face.

While that might appear to be just a generic image it's using to showcase its technology, it's worth noting that the back of the round face comes with the same charging area as the current Apple Watch. In other words, Apple is showcasing a patent that comes with a possible design concept for the Apple Watch.

This is just a patent application, but in a market where the round Samsung Gear S3 offers more sex appeal, it's good to know that the company has at least thought about a round Apple Watch.