Given how Apple (and, to be fair to it, every other smartphone maker out there) likes to make its phones just different enough not to fit previous cases, it’s something of a surprise that the company has stuck with the same Apple Watch band connector for nearly a decade now.
Granted, the size changed between Series 6 and 7, but beyond that, there’s always been compatibility, which probably could have earned Apple hundreds of millions if it had decided to mix it up. Although, when your company is worth US$3 trillion, that’s essentially pocket change, so maybe there’s something to be said about consistency.
Nonetheless, 2024 could be the year when Apple mixes it up and makes all previous straps redundant going forward.
The leaker and tech collector Kosutami (who you may remember uncovered a prototype HomePod back in October) claims that the next-generation Apple Watch has completely redesigned its connectors. “Literally if you have old bands now, just sell it,” the leaker writes, boldly presuming that there’s a thriving market for sweaty, pre-owned watch straps.
This actually isn’t the first time it’s been suggested that Apple is planning to change up its Watch connectors. For the tenth anniversary of the wearable, Apple is planning the “biggest overhaul yet” according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.
Alongside a microLED display and blood pressure monitoring, Gurman believes that the ‘slide in’ strap design is for the chop, because insiders think it will save space for a “bigger battery or other components.”
At the time, Gurman predicted that its replacement would be a magnetic attachment system, which sounds like it could be party time for the world’s pickpockets, but no doubt Apple has already given this some thought.
We probably won’t find out what’s figuratively and literally up Tim Cook’s sleeve until September, however, assuming Apple sticks to its regular release schedule. Still, there should be plenty coming before then, including Vision Pro, new iPads and two new flavours of AirPod.