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We’ve heard several rumours over the past few months that this year’s Apple Watch Series 7 is getting its first major redesign since Apple first debuted its wearable six years ago, and now a new series of CAD renders is giving us a closer view into exactly what the new design will look like.
Hints that Apple was considering a new design for this year’s Apple Watch first appeared from venerable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said last fall that the Series 7 would be getting a “significant form factor design change.”
However, since Kuo was mum on the details, we didn’t really get any idea of what that meant until leaker Jon Prosser shared some more info a few months ago, revealing that Apple would be going for an aesthetic very similar to the iPhone 12 and higher-end iPad models.
Prosser shared some concept artwork at the time, although what he had was based more on his vision of what he’d heard and some images he’d seen than any actual specs.
Now, however, it looks like 91mobiles has gotten its hands on some official CAD renders that confirm what Prosser previously shared while also giving us an even more in-depth look into the new design.
As expected, the design reflects the style of the iPhone 12 and Apple’s iPad Air and iPad Pro, with flat, squared-off edges, although it does appear that Prosser was correct in his estimation that the design is going to be a bit “more subtle.”
For instance, If the renders are completely accurate, the edges won’t be nearly as sharp as they are on the iPhone 12, which makes sense for a device that most users are going to be wearing against their skin without a protective case.
While it looks like the side button and Digital Crown will remain in the same place, the traditional small pinhole speaker is being replaced by two full-length slits on the opposite side of the controls.
This suggests that the Apple Watch Series 7 will be able to project considerably louder sound than previous models, although it’s unclear if Apple has any special plans in mind for these improved sound capabilities.
According to the specs that 91mobiles got its hands on, the Apple Watch Series 7 will be available in the same 40mm and 44mm models as the past few generations, although the exact measurements will be slightly different as a result of the design changes.
- For one thing, the screen could conceivably be a bit larger, since the bezels are expected to be thinner, and the squared-off design allows for more room to extend the display closer to the edges.
- We’ve also previously heard that a new lamination process will bring the display closer to the front, making it seem more like it sits on top of the Apple Watch.
- Overall, the new design may allow Apple to reduce the thickness of the Apple Watch Series 7 by as much as 1.7mm, according to the dimensions shared with 91mobiles.
This would be the first time the Apple Watch has been truly redesigned since its inception. While Apple did increase the size of the device with the Series 4 back in 2018, that wasn’t really a big design change, as the overall style remained the same.
The good news, however, is that Apple has always tried to maintain compatibility of its Apple Watch bands, even when it moved from the 38mm/42mm models to the 40mm/44mm models, so there’s no reason to believe that this new Series 7 redesign will change that.
While it’s hard to infer too much from the renders about the Apple Watch health sensors, the bump on the back appears to remain unchanged from the Apple Watch Series 6.
This lines up with other reports that we won’t see any major new health features this year; although the possibility of a body temperature sensor does remain, that may not require any visible changes to the array on the rear of the watch.
There’s every indication that Apple is hard at work on developing new health sensor technologies, such as non-invasive blood glucose monitoring and blood pressure measurements, but reliable sources suggest that these technologies could still be years away. Even the body temperature sensor may not arrive until next year’s Apple Watch Series 8.
It wouldn’t be the first time that an Apple Watch hasn’t added any major health features. When it came to new hardware sensors, the Apple Watch Series 5 gained only a compass, so it wouldn’t be too unusual for Apple to skip new health sensors this time around.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]