New photos and video allegedly showing an Apple Watch prototype, hidden by a security case resembling a small iPod, provide a rare glimpse behind the product development curtain of the notoriously secretive company built by Steve Jobs. First teased a few months ago by Twitter user Apple Demo, this is our first look at the device that is turned on and running Apple’s own internal development apps on a pre-watchOS 1.0 software build.
The video begins by showing what appears to be the original cardboard packaging used to deliver the prototype hardware to testers. “This product is classified as Apple Confidential and is designated as an ̵
When the touch screen is turned on, we can see that it is configured to display Apple’s own internal apps. One is the “Lisa tester”, identified by an icon by Lisa Simpson, but probably a tribute to Job’s daughter and namesake of Apple’s Lisa computer – one of the first computers to have a GUI interface. The app allows testers to customize the UI elements of the Watch prototype. The “Springboard zoom” app found inside Lisa Tester is very similar to the original watchOS home screen that was launched on the first Apple Watch in 2015.
There is no Digital Crown for navigation. Instead, buttons on the right side of the case can be used for home and power. The home button on the front and what appear to be volume up / down buttons on the left never appear as used and may not work. When you click settings, the device reports that it has not received FCC approval for sale, adding further confirmation of the prototype status.
Assuming the prototype is genuine – and it definitely seems that way – it’s a remarkable example of a pre-production Apple device we were never meant to see.