'Apple Watch Pro' branding revealed in 2015 demo unit

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Images of an "Apple Watch Pro" logo surfaced online Monday, suggesting Apple at one time mulled alternative branding for its top-tier wearable.

Discovered by YouTube channel Apple Demo in the system files of an early Apple Watch display unit, the "Apple Watch Pro" logo appears beside PNG files for already released models including Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition.

Not much is known about the single logo file, though it appears that Apple was experimenting with "Pro" Watch branding when it debuted the device in 2015. The "Apple Watch Pro" PNG found in the demo unit was supposedly created in February 2015, two months before Apple Watch launched in April of that year.

Along with the aluminum Apple Watch Sport, the first version of Apple's wearable came in stainless steel Apple Watch and solid gold Apple Watch Edition trims. The Sport mark was dropped with the introduction of Apple Watch Series 2, likely to avoid confusion with the then-new Apple Watch Nike+ model, but Edition has returned to indicate special casing materials like ceramic and, with Apple Watch Series 7, titanium.

No longer on exhibit at Apple Stores, the original Apple Watch demonstration display pedestal featured an Apple Watch connected to an iPad mini. At the time, try-on units ran a looping software demo, while functional devices embedded in the wedge-shaped stand allowed for a more interactive experience.

Apple Demo is relatively new to the Apple leaks game, but the channel has obtained access to at least two Apple Watch prototype units.

Considering that the moniker dates back to 2015, it is unlikely that an "Apple Watch Pro" will land anytime soon. That said, the tech giant has in the intervening years assigned the "Pro" designation to a number of products including iPad, iPhone, iMac and, most recently, the M1 Pro chip used in the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

Apple is reportedly developing a ruggedized Apple Watch model that could debut in 2022, though branding plans remain unknown.