Numerous Apple-watching outfits have reported that the company is working on a rugged, fitness-minded “Apple Watch Pro,” to be announced at its September 7 event. The device could be even more of an upgrade than some expect, as the latest rumor has the wider, more square-shaped “Pro” watch requiring all-new bands.
Weibo user “Uncle Pan,” who has shared accurate information before on AirPods and MagSafe cases, posted Monday from Guangdong that an Apple Watch with a 47 or 48 mm screen will be offered this year. The new band will be wider, indicating a likely square design, Uncle Pan wrote. The user embedded an image from Twitter account Apple Hub, which offered a quirky rendering of the rumored Pro design and cited a price “close to $1,000.”
According to Mac Otakara, the upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 “Pro” will feature a larger 47mm size and a flat display. This model is expected to start at a higher price close to $1000 pic.twitter.com/9MmBhkewFA
— Apple Hub (@theapplehub) August 28, 2022
Uncle Pan’s post conflicts with Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who reported in late July that while the Pro watch will be larger than existing Apple Watch models, it will not be squared or feature flat sides.
Apple Watch bands have been compatible across models ever since the launch of the first Apple Watch in 2015. Apple’s own bands have also been somewhat pricey, making the ability to carry over bands from one generation to the next useful for savings and style collections.
Then again, a notably larger, more rugged, and larger-battery Pro model is not likely to be most people’s pick. The watch is expected to be pitched to serious outdoor and sports enthusiasts and should include a more durable case and screen and a new style of Low Power Mode that will let the watch last multiple days on a charge. That’s alongside the many health and fitness tracking updates due to arrive in watchOS 9 this fall.
For those not going on day-long bikepacking or ultra-marathon excursions, the expected Apple Watch 8 and Apple Watch SE are likely to see a spec bump or other minor improvements, such as a body temperature sensor and the same kind of low-power but still app-capable mode as the Pro. It’s also long past time Apple retired the Apple Watch 3 from its lineup.