Apple May Be Working on a Rugged Apple Watch Variant; Could Launch as Soon as This Year

Cupertino-based giant Apple is reportedly considering launching a rugged Apple Watch that is aimed at athletes, hikers, and other such users who use the device in more extreme environments, a report in Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter. According to the report, Apple has internally discussed such an Apple Watch variant for late 2021 or 2022 at the earliest. Bloomberg’s sources refused to be identified because they were discussing private matters. This, according to Bloomberg, is the second time there have been talks about a rugged Apple Watch variant. In 2015, after launching the first Apple Watch, the company discussed a new model for extreme sports athletes. While the standard Apple Watch is still popular among athletes, more rugged smartwatches like the one from Casio have seen strong sales from sturdier product design with extra protection.

If Apple does go ahead with a rugged Apple Watch, it will be similar to the company’s special edition that the company has launched in parntership with Nike and Hermes, and the Apple Watch SE. According to the Bloomberg report, the rumoured Apple Watch is dubbed as the “Explorer Edition” internally, and it would have the same functionality as the standard Apple Watch but with extra impact-resistance and protection. The latest Apple Watch models are already water-restitant to 50 meters. But Apple could make the new device more “rugged” by giving it a more tough casing, possibly with a rubberised exterior that would be useful for environments where the current casing may prove to be too fragile.

The people cited in the Bloomberg report also said that the plans for this “rugged” Apple Watch could even be canceled or delayed. The Bloomberg report also said that Apple is working on new swim tracking features for the Apple Watch. The company typically launches new smartwatches in September. Last year, Apple launched the Apple Watch series 6 and the new affordable Apple Watch SE.

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