Apple is expected to unveil the Apple Watch 9 in just a few weeks now – it's expected to be announced alongside the iPhone 15, with the latest iPhone 15 launch date rumors pointing to an event on September 12 or 13 – and a new leak suggests it'll arrive with a new strap design.
Rumors have been few and far between, but the health-focused wearable, and the successor to 2022’s Apple Watch 8, will most likely offer many of the same features as what’s come before – albeit with better specs and maybe a few extra goodies for us to take advantage of.
However, according to Apple leaker @KosutamiSan on X (formerly Twitter), we'll also see a new strap, which will apparently feature woven fabric materials and a magnetic buckle, with the leaker comparing the band design to the Modern Buckle strap design that the original Apple Watch debuted with.
The woven fabric design sounds reminiscent of the look of the Braided Solo Loop and Sport Loop bands, meaning this strap design could be an amalgamation of a few of Apple’s Watch strap options.
We also got a look at a concept design for the new strap, though the gray drawing the leaker shared doesn’t tell us too much about what we should expect.
#Apple will release a new Watch band with weaved fabric materials and magnetic buckle (might like Modern Buckle Leather Band one) this year later with new watch. (Photo only for concept looks)#appleinternal @markgurman @URedditor @ProfessorTox pic.twitter.com/9wD75v6go5August 9, 2023
Kosutami is an Apple product collector who has previously revealed details about unreleased and scrapped Apple design plans – such as MagSafe chargers and AirPods cases that come in a wider variant of vibrant colors. They don’t have as long a track record with leaks for upcoming products, so we’d recommend taking this rumor with a pinch of salt.
That said, it certainly seems likely that Apple might release a new kind of strap with the Apple Watch 9 – be it the one Kosutami is teasing or a completely different design.
According to people in the know, the Apple Watch 9 will share a lot of visual similarities to the Apple Watch 8 – though under the hood it will reportedly use a much more powerful chipset than its predecessor. An easy way for Apple to help us visually distinguish between the two smartwatches would be new colorways and/or a new strap design that could feature prominently in marketing material.
Even if the Apple Watch 9 is visually distinct from the 8 without a new strap, the design possibilities that come with a new strap type may be enticing to Apple Watch wearers who are growing tired of their existing straps.
We’ll have to wait and see what Apple has up its sleeve however, as according to some sketchy leaks we might not even see the Apple Watch 9 – with reports that Apple will repeat a trick from the iPhone and skip straight to the Watch X like it did with the iPhone X (with X being a Roman numeral for 10).
Sign up to receive daily breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the world of tech.
Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.