Over the past few days, we’ve seen a barrage of new leaked details about Apple’s rumored Apple Watch Pro. The Apple Watch Pro will officially be unveiled at Apple’s “Far out” event on Wednesday, alongside the iPhone 14 lineup.
These new leaks, including our first look at the new design, show that Apple is sparing no expense for the Apple Watch Pro. With a few exceptions, however, it’s becoming clear that the Apple Watch Pro isn’t for most people.
What last-minute Apple Watch Pro leaks tell us
Earlier today, CAD images of the Apple Watch Pro were leaked to give us our best look at the new design. These renders appear to have emerged from Apple’s supply chain, and they’ve also been corroborated by Bloomberg’s Marc Gurman.
There are several important things we can take from these images before we see the official design on Wednesday.
First and foremost, the Apple Watch Pro is going to be big. Like, really big. We knew it would feature a larger 47mm case and 1.99-inch display, but these renders put those numbers into perspective. They also show another way the Apple Watch Pro will be even bigger.
On the right side, the Apple Watch Pro appears to feature a bulge that houses a new digital crown as well as a side button similar to the existing Apple Watch model. We’ll likely learn more about the reasoning for this design change on Wednesday, but the way the button and crown are now raised from the edge has a significant impact on the size and look of the watch.
For context, most people in the so-called “watch industry” say that the existing Apple Watch Series 7 models are already pushing it in terms of size. This is especially true of the 45mm model, which has a 1.77-inch screen.
Apple, of course, can justify the larger form factor of its watches by arguing that they are smartwatches with different health sensors, batteries, cellular technology and more. Many Apple Watch buyers are willing to accept this compromise and wear an Apple Watch despite the large form factor.
Who should buy the Apple Watch Pro?
My point here is not that the Apple Watch Pro shouldn’t exist. There’s absolutely a market for these larger, sports-focused watches and it’s one that Apple should tap into.
This new Apple Watch Pro takes things to the next level in terms of size, and it probably crosses a line for most people. The larger case, bigger screen, and larger buttons make it clear that Apple is targeting a segment of people focused on extreme sports, rugged watches, and those who need extra long battery life.
It’s also starting to look like the Apple Watch Pro might prioritize function over form, a rare move by Apple, especially for a mobile product. The larger screen and titanium finish of the Apple Watch Pro are likely to impress, but the rest of the design and size are clear indicators of an emphasis on function over thin design, light and beautiful.
As usual, this will really come down to Apple’s marketing. Will the company make it clear who should buy the Apple Watch Pro? Will it try to target a market of people who want the “best of the best” versions of the Apple Watch, even if the actual differences between the Apple Watch Pro and the Apple Watch Series 8 are negligible for most people ?
With the iPhone, there are obvious benefits that everyday users can enjoy when they upgrade to a “Pro” version. The camera hardware is significantly better, the screens are top of the line, there’s a ‘premium’ design that doesn’t cross any lines of practicality. What kind of story can Apple paint for the Apple Watch Pro?
The Apple Watch Pro will be a clear winner for those who regularly need much longer battery life and appreciate the larger and more robust design and are into extreme sports. This is a small market that’s likely smaller compared to the over $1,000 price tag we’re expecting for the Apple Watch Pro.
These are the questions and concerns I have ahead of Wednesday’s event. I’m afraid the “Apple Watch Pro” rumors have given the wrong idea of what to expect from the device, but we’ll learn more on Wednesday. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
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