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Images of what appears to be an original Apple Watch prototype in its security case have been shared online by Twitter user @AppleDemoYT.

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The photos show a prototype stainless steel Apple Watch concealed within a silicone security case, marked with a redacted serial number. Apple usually transports its prototype and testing units in thick protective cases that are intended to mislead and conceal the true design of the product.

Interestingly, the security case seems to resemble a third-generation iPod nano with a click wheel. In the years leading up to the announcement of the Apple Watch, it was not uncommon for some users to use the sixth-generation iPod nano as a watch using third-party cases. It is therefore fitting that Apple disguised the original Apple Watch as an iPod nano.



The prototype was allegedly used for internal testing before the official release of the original Apple Watch. The device came in a cardboard box marked "Apple Confidential," with multiple warnings about unauthorized use.



Images of original Apple Watch prototypes have surfaced before, showing slight variations from the final design. While no useful information can usually be gleaned from most prototypes, it is interesting to see how Apple conducts the development of its products before they reach the market. Prototype devices are hotly desired by collectors and occasionally surface on auction sites and at device recycling facilities.

Article Link: Images of Apple Watch Prototype in iPod Nano-Style Security Case Shared Online
 

nicho

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Feb 15, 2008
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How do we know it was an Apple Watch and not an Apple Watch Sport?
 

xraydoc

Contributor
Oct 9, 2005
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How do we know it was an Apple Watch and not an Apple Watch Sport?
Since the only difference is the material the case is made out of, it doesn't really matter. However, one of the images shows the watch without it's disguise case and it looks like it's made out of stainless steel.
 
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nicho

macrumors 601
Feb 15, 2008
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However, one of the images shows the watch without it's disguise case and it looks like it's made out of stainless steel.

I'm in a country without access to Twitter. Guess I shouldn't have relied on MR's description of an original Apple Watch prototype in its security case!

Thank you for being my eyes.
 
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colmaclean

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
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Weird, you'd think that would reduce the usefulness of the tests if the watch can't be worn on the arm with all the sensors operational.

Some kind of heavy metal wristband would make sense if you want to keep it secret and test the sensors...
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Spock

macrumors 68040
Jan 6, 2002
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It looks to me like it was just supposed to resemble a generic MP3 player and not really look like an iPod nano. This also seems like a strange way to use the Apple Watch considering the tester wouldn’t be able to use the sensors on the back. With the resources of Apple, they could of just made an iPod nano with the guts of the Apple Watch and the scroll wheel could have been used as the Digital Crown. I’m curious to know what they were testing with this.
 

incoherent_1

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2016
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I always find these prototype stories interesting! Cool to see how they try to disguise products or hide certain details. My favorite was the early iPad that was built into a table so testers couldn’t make out the device’s form factor. Good stuff.
 

CarlJ

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Feb 23, 2004
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How in any world does that prototype look remotely like an iPod nano!?
It doesn’t have to look exactly like a then-current iPod nano. It just needs to pass on very-quick-glance as an MP3 player of some sort. If someone (back then) is getting to examine it at length, then the Apple employee is already in trouble big time - it’s the employee’s job to keep the device away from prying eyes.
 

CarlJ

Contributor
Feb 23, 2004
6,977
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San Diego, CA, USA
So how long until some case manufacturer releases a clone of this for excitable watch collectors to carry one of their watches around in?
 
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