New photos reveal an original Apple Watch prototype apparently used for internal testing before the wearable made its official debut in 2015.
The device is protected by a security case, which looks a little like an iPod nano, to disguise it during transportation. It also comes in a brown cardboard box marked “Apple Confidential.”
This isn’t the first time Apple Watch prototypes have made their way into the wild. Back in April, two units, found at an electronic waste facility, were pictured with strange markings and different designs.
What’s unique about this prototype is its security case, which is designed to mask Apple Watch’s actual design should the device be seen by anyone who wasn’t working on it.
Apple Watch prototype seen in unique case
The case, which appears to be made out of plastic or silicone, looks like a miniature iPod with a click wheel and buttons on its edge. Apple Watch sits toward its top edge, like the iPod’s display.
According to the prototype’s owner, @AppleDemoYT on Twitter, the case would have been placed on the device during transportation. It’s marked by a unique serial number, but that has been redacted.
Prototype Apple Watch (Original) with matching Security Case and box. The Security Case was used to conceal the design before release durning transportation; and makes the Watch look similar to an iPod Nano. #appleinternal pic.twitter.com/2q0y8l6oso
— Apple Demo (@AppleDemoYT) September 1, 2020
A closer look at the prototypes outer packaging, a simple brown box, reveals a sticker that reads: “This product is classified as Apple Confidential.” The rest of the notice is too blurry to read.
Skeptics might suggest this is just a regular Apple Watch inside a strange third-party case. But eagle-eyed readers will notice this particular device is a little different to most Apple Watch models.
There’s a mysterious marking or sensor of some kind on the left edge of the Watch itself. It’s not yet clear why it’s there or what it was used for; we’ve asked @AppleDemoYT if they can tell us more.