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The next Apple Watch could offer rugged design, target athletes


Apple dominates the smartwatch market at the moment thanks to mainstream products like the Apple Watch Series 6 and Watch SE. With a future device, though, the company could start targeting a specific group of customers — athletes.

A Casio G-Shock-inspired Apple Watch for athletes

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that Apple is considering launching an Apple Watch with a rugged casing. The wearable would be targeted at athletes, hikers, and other people that use smartwatches in extreme environments.To ensure the smartwatch doesn’t get damaged, the existing aluminum and stainless steel frames are to be replaced with an impact-resistant rubber casing that’s similar to what Casio’s G-Shock watches offer.

Feature-wise the device would be no different from existing Apple Watch products, so customers can expect the usual watch faces, heart rate monitor, blood oxygen sensor, and workout modes. This also means that the rugged Apple Watch should be one of the best smartwatches available, like its mainstream siblings. 

Speaking of workout modes, Apple is said to be developing a new swim tracking feature to complement the existing water resistance.

The Apple Watch ‘Explorer Edition’ might launch in late 2021

People familiar with the matter claim the Tim Cook-led company has discussed introducing the possible Apple Watch variant, which is often referred to as ‘Explorer Edition,’ in late 2021 or 2022.

If that were to happen, an introduction alongside the Apple Watch Series 7 this September, or the Series 8 in September 2022, could be on the cards. It’s important to note that a timeline hasn’t been set in stone, though, and the product could still be delayed or scrapped entirely.

This happened once before in 2015, after the launch of the original Apple Watch when Apple also explored the idea of a rugged version.

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