Circular Apple Watch patent applications look sweet but unlikely to materialize


Tech wars are often fought with patents in various courts of law rather than what consumers may regard as actual, valuable and practical innovation, but USPTO applications can also occasionally offer precious glimpses into products and features developed behind the scenes by giants such as Apple.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to separate an unlikely concept from a commercial sure thing. Case in point, we’re not at all surprised to see Cupertino dabble with the idea of a circular wearable gadget as recently as January 2016.

The question is how much, if anything, of the two just-published curved display electronic device “inventions” could become reality in the near future? Are these advanced, almost fully authorized prototypes, like that Home Button-less iPhone 8, or closer to the wishful thinking of a reliable wrist or ankle ECG monitor?


If you consider market trends, and the way Samsung or LG dumped rectangular smartwatches without looking back after only a couple of failed experiments, it’s certainly possible the Apple Watch will get a major redesign too.

Then again, admitting aesthetic defeat so quickly doesn’t really sound like Apple’s M.O. The best you can probably hope for is shape choice, and even that’s a long shot, thinking about yields, volumes and so on. Still, it’s nice to know a round-faced Apple Watch is or at least was in the not so distant past contemplated.

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