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Check out Apple’s creative disguise for early Apple Watch prototypes

2021 June 18
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Apple has a penchant for going to great lengths to protect its secrets, including concealing early Apple Watch prototypes in special cases featuring a bricked-phone design.


  • Apple uses special cases to keep prototype designs secret
  • They’re used when testing prototype devices in the wild
  • Early Apple Watch prototypes were tested in these cases, too

The ingenious Apple Watch disguise

Apple Demo published on Twitter never-before-seen images of 38mm prototype Apple Watches hidden within specially designed cases that are meant to completely conceal their design.

These early prototypes are somewhat functional, with prerelease watchOS software running without a hiccup even though there are several internal settings still present on the devices.

The prototypes seem to lack a Digital Crown button though. Instead, there are two buttons on the left side of the device and an additional button on the case itself.

Apple Demo previously published photographs showing the company’s security cases designed for 42mm Apple Watch prototype that looked like an iPod music player.

Apple is known for concealing work-in-progress hardware in special boxes.

Doing so permits employees to test upcoming products in the wild without risking revealing their design. But it can also prevent early testers from spotting certain issues.

As an example, Apple’s employees who had been testing early iPhone 4 prototypes concealed in these cases were unaware of the fact that touching a gap in the stainless steel band would cause wireless interference and cause cellular signal to drop.

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