Apple Watch News: rugged extreme sports model under consideration

Photographer: David Gray / Bloomberg

Apple Inc. is considering launching an Apple Watch with a rugged case aimed at athletes, hikers and others who use the device in more extreme environments, said people familiar with the matter.

The Cupertino, California-based tech giant has spoken internally about introducing such a Watch variant later in 2021 or at the earliest 2022, the people said, asking not to be identified while discussing private matters.

In any case, this is the second time Apple has considered a rugged smartwatch. After Launching the first version of the Apple Watch in 2015, the company weighed in on a new model to better appeal to extreme athletes. The current version is still popular with runners, hikers, and swimmers, and Apple has added several sports and activity tracking features through the annual update cycle. However, Casio Computer Co. and other watchmakers have seen strong sales of more robust product designs with added protection.

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The Apple Watch leads everyone else in this fast-growing tech sector

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If Apple continues this time around, the rugged version would be an additional model, similar to how Apple offers a cheaper option, the Apple Watch SE and special editions under the Nike Inc. brand. and Hermes International. Sometimes referred to as the “Explorer Edition” in Apple, the product is said to have the same functionality as a standard Apple Watch, but with added impact-resistance and protection in the style of Casio’s G-Shock watches.