A new rugged Apple Watch could join the ranks this year, aimed at adventurers and climbers.
The Bloomberg report alleges that the company is looking at a rubberized design, so the device can be worn in extreme conditions. This would offer a rugged and protected exterior to protect against scratches and shocks.
The device could be ready for a September 2021 launch alongside the Apple Watch Series 7, according to "people familiar with the matter."
The Apple Watch is currently sold in aluminium, stainless steel and ceramic cases – all of which look great but can be marked and scratched. There's a moderate Apple Watch case market for those looking for added protection, so it seems surprising that Apple would be interesting in rubberizing its device.
It’s not clear whether the new design would offer protection to military standards, as we’ve seen from the likes of Casio and the Amazfit T-Rex Pro.
And there’s no indication of enhanced water-resistance, that would make the Apple Watch better suited for surfing and watersports.
Bloomberg’s sources also say that the new rugged Apple Watch project could be “cancelled or delayed” which means this may never be realised.
Bloomberg is a bit of a regular with Apple scoops and a quick check back has seen many of their insider stories come to fruition. Bloomberg revealed the launch of ECG and sleep tracking smarts, although claims about the launch of Micro LED screens has yet to be proven. It’s track record with Amazon is better, correctly predicting the Halo emotion sensing wearable and an Alexa hearable.
A rugged Apple Watch would make sense, but we wonder whether it makes sense without other pieces of the puzzle.
For hikers, for example, the GPS battery life of the Apple Watch just doesn’t stand up.
Likewise, Apple doesn’t recommend its smartwatches are exposed to “high velocity” water, so scuba diving, water skiing and that extends to surfing and other sports.
So sacrificing the svelte and stylish Apple Watch without making the device meaningfully better for active people may not make sense. We’ll know more in September.
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