We’re less than 48 hours away from Apple’s special event. And yet even now, new information surrounding Apple’s plans continues to become available. Today the Apple Watch Pro may well have been leaked. Let’s take a look.

Cases and Protection

Earlier today, some rather unusual cases that claimed to be for the Apple Watch Pro surfaced online. The cases feature an additional side button. The button is located on the opposite side of the watch case to the digital crown. It is similar in design to the existing side button that has always been present on the Apple Watch

The images below were posted by Sonny Dickson on Twitter and illustrate the new button layout. But they also hint at a flat display. The watch case itself seems to retain rounded edges.

Further to the images posted by Sonny Dixon, further images were posted on Weibo of cases available for sale for the Apple Watch Pro. What is notable about the images below, is that there is a protrusion sticking out of the side of the case. The side where the digital crown is located.

CAD files

Further to the cases shown above, CAD files that claim to show the new design for the Apple Watch Pro have also been released. The files shown below, come from an exclusive report by 91mobiles.

The design supports the features highlighted in the watch case images. The display is flat and the sides retain a curvature much like the Apple Watch Series 7. The screen size is likely to be 49mm.

One particularly notable change is the extruded area housing the digital crown and side button. This is far more robust and rugged in appearance than anything that we’ve seen so far.

Gurman believes this to be the real deal and has gone on to say that the second side button is likely to be programmable. Perhaps you’ll be able to use it to launch a specific app for instance or start a workout.

The AppleTLDR take

The CAD files reveal a design that at first glance is rather crude in nature. It’s worth noting, however, that CAD fails rarely do a good job of capturing the appearance of a finished product. Once Apple unveils official marketing images (assuming this is indeed the design and I believe it is), the design will likely look and feel premium and more welcoming. It isn’t easy to truly gauge just how the design will look and feel in real life from such simple images that lack finish and design flourishes.

In terms of the added functionality, we’ve been hearing about a so-called ‘rugged’ Apple Watch for a long time. Making the display flat, enclosing the digital crown and perhaps offering premium, durable materials, should result in a design that is far more suited to heavy use.

The secondary button I think is an interesting move. One designed to directly compete with the likes of Garmin. Perhaps it could be used to start a workout or even pause it or stop it entirely. Or in the alternative perhaps users will have full control to decide how the button is programmed. For those who workout intensively with the Apple Watch, more physical controls would be a welcome change. Touch screens and moisture don’t tend to work as efficiently compared to when used with dry hands.

I’m inclined to believe this is the real deal. And while the design at first glance is somewhat controversial, don’t judge a book by an incomplete cover.

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