Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has clear plans to roll out a round Watch sometime in the future. Analysts have said that the introduction could happen as soon as 2017. The U.S. tech major’s intentions are clearly shown by a patent filed back in 2015, the same year of the first generation Apple Watch. Formally known as the United States Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO got a patent application filed by Apple which suggests that the next Watch could take on a more “circular display”.
Apple Inc. is still the king of the smartwatch segment in spite of the increase of industry rivals. However, it would appear as though the demand for a more conventional-looking wrist gadget can no longer be ignored. By the looks of it, 2017 could see Tim Cook and his company roll out a circular Watch.
When The New Yorker asked Apple’s head of design, Jony Ive, whether the firm plans to produce a round wrist piece last year, the design chief said it just didn’t seem appropriate for such a device. “When a huge part of the function is lists,” Ive explains, “a circle just doesn’t make any sense.”
Round Watch is stupid?
True to Ive’s sentiments, the square design can still be seen in the second generation Watch. This is in spite of the loud demands for a more normal appearance. In the months building up to the second Apple timepiece, rumors had Apple fanatics looking forward to a circular Watch. Alas, the firm remained rigid and the Watch Series 2 was revealed with the same shape of its previous generation.
However, it looks as though the tech giant had long planned to launch a round Apple Watch sometime in the future. This can be inferred from the company’s early filing of the round watch patent. The patent was actually filed in June 2015. That same year saw the release of the first generation Watch. Reports claim the company is interested in adding an array of pixel columns and rows, each varying in length. This will reportedly “save space and reduce crowding”. It is possible that Apple is simply waiting for the novelty of the square-like design to fade.
While the existing range of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watches come with square-ish frames, popular competitors like the Moto 360 from Motorola, the Huawei Watch and the Samsung Gear 2 come with circular designs. They also run Google’s Android operating system. However, it is thought that their conventional looks make them much more approachable.
Apple fights the smartwatch slump
Global smartwatch sales were down more than 50 percent in the third quarter of 2016. This is in comparison the exact period in 2015. The devices tend to have little to no isolated use and relay heavily on the connected smartphones to perform most functions. They are often designed to supplement the user’s smartphone, which in most cases is never really too far away.
Smartwatch sales were down more than 71 percent during the three months building up to October. That is compared to the same period last year. Reportedly, the third quarter of 2015 saw just under 4 million Apple Watch sales. That’s a truly impressive number considering the Watch first rolled out in the previous quarter. Fast forward a year later and reports claim Apple only manages to pull in 1.1 million watch sales during the September quarter.
Apple is yet to give the public details about the Apple Watch’s actual sales performance. This is mostly done to keep competitors in the dark. At quarter revenue calls, the company groups Watch sales with other ‘accessories’. September saw the unveiling of the latest Watch, dubbed Series 2. The iPhone maker also collaborated with sportswear giant Nike to produce a new Nike+ edition of the Apple Watch. Both these items were expected to pull in large sales numbers this Christmas season.
That being said, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Still remains at the head of smartwatch sales worldwide. The Apple Watch is also the globe’s second leading watch brand by revenue. First place still goes to Rolex in that regard. It is interesting to know that Apple has a round design stacshed away in its back pocket. Perhaps 2017 will be the year the patent is put to use.