Apple’s creative disguise for early Apple Watch prototypes resembles a bricked-phone design

Apple has a penchant for going to great lengths to protect its secrets, including concealing early Apple Watch prototypes in special cases resembling 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

Apple Watch Series 6 photo

The ingenious Apple Watch disguise

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

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 designs. 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 before they never took the phone out of the case while out in the public.