Join the discussion: Round vs. rectangle Apple Watch display

Apple Watch bands
Apple Watch bands (Image credit: iMore)

The Apple Watch turned 2 this week (YAYYY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!), and ever since its launch, this mighty little accessory has taken the world by storm, with fans from Winnipeg to Bondi Beach still thrilled by everything the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Series 2 have to offer.

While the Apple Watch is still a remarkable accessory that's changing and upgrading with every passing year, one question keeps getting asked over and over again: circle or square?

We've been hearing for some time that users (well some, anyway) have wanted a ROUND display on their Apple Watch. Do you think a) that'll ever happen? and b) if a round variant was available, would you buy it?

James Falconer

If you had the choice, would you pick a round display over a rectangle display for your Apple Watch? Why or why not?

I would definitely consider a round watch. Aren't watches historically round?


I love the current shape of the Watch but I am not anti-round shape. If the new watch warrants an upgrade, I'd buy it without hesitation about the shape.


Join the discussion and let us know which you would prefer and why! #CircleorSquare

Join the discussion in the iMore forum!

Cella Lao Rousseau

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau

  • I bought the original Apple Watch the day it came out and immediately upgraded to the Series 2 last year so I've been wearing it for most of the past two years. I say "most" because I have always wanted it to be round. Apple makes beautiful things, so the Watch is beautiful, but as a life long watch-wearer, it does not resemble a watch; and that bothers me. Other than the splendid craftsmanship that Apple is known for, I've always felt more like I had on a "calculator watch" (yes, those were a thing when I was a kid) than a "watch". After the initial "buzz" wore off, and it took the better part of 2 years for me, the Watch was being used for notifications only and so I have recently elected to buy the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier and I really like it. It handles all my notification needs just perfectly, but beyond that, I feel like I have an actual watch on my wrist...and for me, that matters. I wonder if others feel at all like me?
  • Does your smartphone resemble your flip phone?
  • How well does your Gear display a remote viewfinder, images, or video clips? How well would Apple's modular display work on your it?
  • A round watchface on an Apple Watch would be a serious misfeature. Anyone claiming that watches are round denies that for a long time watches have also been built into square cases. Or other geometries for that matter. Yes it is called 'watch' but is it really that? It functions as one in the non-interactive use-case of just looking at it. But even then complications come into play.
    Form follows function and in this case function involves textual and graphical representations. Those are by default tied to a square form factor. Making the Apple Watch round will necessitate a much larger watch case. Which in turn is a much more difficult fashion item to begin with.
  • Exactly, +1
  • I like my Apple Watch just the way it is. I have enough round watches I wear that make the boxy Apple a refreshing change.
  • Apple got it right. End of discussion.
  • I'm perfectly happy with the current design. However, I can understand some preferring a round watch. I do not see this as an either or issue. How about Apple offering both designs. Win - win.
  • Not a win for the application developers.
  • The watch I used to wear before buying the Apple Watch (day 1 -- upgraded now to version 2) was round, and I thought I'd be unhappy with this shape, but I'm not. In fact, I find I now prefer it to a round shape. I find it looks more modern than round does, but that's just my own opinion.
  • I want a watch that can change shape. Think T-2000 not Transformers. Same for my iPad: I want a software keyboard with tactile keys. I know, I know: not happening any time soon, but that is the ideal.
  • I don't get it. Is it just because people don't "get" the whole idea that it isn't just a watch? Is "omg it's a watch but not round omg" really that big a deal? If it's round, then okay, the watch face "fits" better, but then everything else sucks. That is, all the things you actually DO on it? Looking at the time is something you're going to do what? 1% of the time you use it? You glance at it then look away. If your eyes are on the watch face for more time than it takes to read it, then you're using one of the complications which guess what? PROBABLY WON'T FIT. Or you can really enjoy reading messages with so much wasted space, or... Okay, look. Just stop asking for this. They did it on the Android watches and it looks stupid. They're the size of an Invicta Russian Diver. That is, roughly the size of the Saturnian moon Enceladus.
  • Whilst I prefer the rectangle screen on the Apple Watch, the rotating bezels of the Gear S3 et al is a far better input method than the fiddly twiddly dial.
  • It's fine the way it is.
  • I was just thinking the same in the morning and I WANT THEM ROUND , they look more classy , yes there are few exceptions and limitations but this is Apple they always figure out how to do impossible things.
  • Does it matter?
  • Without question. Apple make the right design choice.
  • I would definitely prefer a round Apple Watch, but I wouldn't go out and buy a new Apple Watch just because they issued a round one. When my series 0 dies, I'll replace it with another Apple Watch, and if there is a round option then, I'll take it.
  • I'm SO tired of the screen on my MacBook Pro being rectangular. I want a CIRCULAR screen on all computers. It just makes SO much more sense...
  • Many things you can do on an Apple Watch don't lend themselves to a round screen. Traditional watches and clocks have optionally had rectangular faces for a long time and work fine. Anything text-based, and photos are not optimal on a round screen. I think sticking with a rectangular shape but figuring out how to go thinner is a better move than switching the case and entire interface to work on a round screen.