The Apple Watch 7 could finally get a new look after six generations of consistent design, possibly with a flexible wraparound screen.
That’s going through a new Apple patent noted by MacRumors that proposes an Apple Watch design that fits the wearer’s wrist. Not only would this be a radical departure from the square aesthetic of current Apple Watch models, but also provide a design that stands out from other smartwatches like the impressive Samsung Galaxy Watch 3.
While we’ve seen several Apple Watch patents before, including one for an Apple Watch with a circular dial, 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 strap.
Like many of the best smartwatches, the Apple Watch lets you change the bands with a wide variety of watch bands. To maintain that level of personalization, the wearable in the patent allows users to change things up with digitally customizable bands.
But since the display isn’t limited to just the traditional watch face area, it opens up the smartwatch to all sorts of new functionality, if this is the direction Apple chooses to go.
Another bonus of the flexible display is that Apple can shrink the bezel or get rid of it altogether. According to the patent, the bezel could be “less than 4-5mm or even less than 1mm, less than 0.5mm or omitted”.
We’ve already seen flexible screens on TVs and smartphones, such as 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 in a competitive price range. Apple certainly won’t be rushing to launch a flexible Apple Watch, making the same mistake Samsung made on its first attempt at the Galaxy Fold.
Nor is it the only device with a flexible screen that Apple has come up with. According to reports, the tech giant is floating on rumors that the foldable iPhone Flip could take the form of a clamshell, similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.
Just as you shouldn’t hold your breath for a foldable iPhone, a foldable Apple Watch probably isn’t coming anytime soon. It certainly won’t come out with the Apple Watch 7, although it would give Apple’s flagship a big edge over the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.