The new Apple Watch Pro could bring a major shift in design

The Apple Watch Pro features a new button on the left side and a radical redesign that likely won't appeal to most consumers, according to leaked CAD renders.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Getty Images/Youngoldman

Apple's forthcoming bigger and rugged Apple Watch Pro may have an extra button on the side if a purported rendering of its design is accurate. 

Regular mobile leaker 91mobiles revealed the claimed Apple Watch Pro CAD renders showing a larger display than previous Apple Watch Models. 

So far, most of the details about the Apple Watch Pro, which Apple is expected to reveal at its "Far Out" event, have come from Bloomberg's Apple watcher, Mark Gurman. He's previously reported it should have about a seven percent larger display than normal Apple Watch models and that it takes aim at Garmin's high-end rugged watches. It's also tipped to be chunkier, appealing to only some sports-oriented customers, while older Watch bands may not to fit the Pro model.  

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91mobiles reports the Apple Watch Pro will be 49mm thick, while previous reports have suggested an almost 2-inch diameter watch display. The Apple Watch 7 models currently clock in at between 41mm and 45 mm. So, indeed, it could be chunkier than most people like — except for those who like Garmin's bigger, higher-priced sports watches that cost between $1,000 to $1,500.  

The renders have also created another mystery: there's a new button on the left side of the device, beneath the speaker. Previous models don't have a button on the left side. So, what does that button do? 

Gurman, who backed up the authenticity of the CAD renders, guesses the new button will be programmable by users to do anything they want, such as launching an app, feature or workout. Apple did add several new workouts aimed at extreme sports types in iOS 16. 

The other major design change is that the case now protrudes on the right side around the new Digital Crown, beneath which sits a button like on the existing models. Could the extra space allow for a larger battery or more sensors?  

Apple will likely reveal the reasons for the button and design change later today, alongside new iPhone 14 models, and new AirPods Pro 2. Here's how to watch the event

The Pro is expected to be pricier than the two smaller models and could be between $900 to $1,000, Gurman reckons. 

While this is a lot to ask for a an Apple Watch Pro, Apple Watch doesn't lead in market share for smartwatches over the $500 mark. Garmin leads in this category with its bulky high-end smartwatches, but the Watch Pro could change that.  

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