The original Apple Watch was kept secret with this ingenious disguise

Apple Watch prototype
(Image credit: Apple/Apple Demo/Future owns)

If there's one company that's known for secrecy, it's Apple. The brand famously goes to extreme lengths to protect future products from leaking (not always successfully, we might add) – and one particularly creative disguise for the then-unannounced Apple Watch has just emerged.

YouTube channel Apple Demo has got hold of an early prototype Apple Watch. But you wouldn't know it to look at it – at first glance, the device looks decidedly like a mobile phone (a retro "dumbphone" that is – we're hardly looking at one of the best camera phones here).  

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Designed to conceal the design of the original Apple Watch face, a plastic housing transforms the shape of the device so that it resembles a retro phone, complete with (we assume non-working) keys. A second design also resembles an iPod Nano-esque MP3 player.

Apple Watch

Good luck strapping either of these to your wrist (Image credit: Apple Demo)

It's extremely rare to see prototype Apple products – the company typically destroys them (secrecy, etc). The box for this particular prototype is labelled 'classified', and instructs the tester to return it to Apple when finished. That went well.

Aside from a few tweaks here and there, the design of the Apple Watch itself has remained largely unchanged over the last six years. But rumours suggest that could all be about to change, with a flat-edged design potentially on the way this year. Who knows, perhaps there are a few prototype Apple Watch 7 models disguised as mobile phones knocking about right now. Check out the best Apple deals if you're in the market for new kit.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.