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(Pocket-lint) - Apple could switch to a round display for a future Apple Watch, if an awarded patent is anything to go by.

Its patent for circular screen technology has been approved and considering that the approved document also mentions a wristwatch, some speculate that the company could adopt the format. Indeed, one of the illustrations in the patent even looks like a smartwatch.

There is some caution to be had, however. Not only does Apple file many patents each year, this particular one was originally filed in January 2016 (and first leaked in December that year). And a previous version was filed the summer before. They both pre-date the release of the first, non-round Apple Watch devices, so Apple might have changed its mind after registration.

AppleApple Watch patent image 1

What it does show, though, is that Apple's engineers have the know-how to make a circular Apple Watch and the prospect is exciting.

Indeed, if the end result looks anything like the fantastic concept designs by Alcion Design (above), which were made using a combination of Rhinoceros 5.0, Keyshot 4 and Photoshop CC, then we'd definitely like to see an alternative Apple Watch in the near future.

A round face even lends itself even better to Watch OS than the current rectangular one, we feel.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 8 May 2018.