Apple mulling a rugged smartwatch for a launch in the near future: Report

by Jeremy

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Apple Watch is currently the king of the global smartwatch segment with a market share as hefty as 40 percent, per Counterpoint Research data. Now, the company is mulling a new rugged smartwatch targeted primarily at athletes and outdoorsy folks, and even extreme sports. As per a Bloomberg report, the company is mulling a launch as early as 2021 or 2022 for its rugged smartwatch. 

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

Internally called “Explorer Edition”, the rugged iteration of Apple Watch will reportedly make some durability-centric tweaks such as impact-resistance and likely extra frame protection. Right now, Casio is a well-known name in the rugged watch segment with its G-Shock. But if you move over the smartwatch domain, Xiaomi-backed Amazfit is among the only few brands that sell its rugged smartwatches in the international market. My colleague Prakhar recently tested the brand’s latest rugged offering – the Amazfit T-Rex Pro – and came out impressed with its overall build and features in his review

The rugged smartwatch segment is in a nascent stage, and is ripe for Apple to take an early lead

The Apple Watch Series 6, for example, is water-resistant up to a depth of 50m and also has a layer of Sapphire Crystal Glass protecting the screen from scratches. However, it is not strong enough to withstand direct impact. Additionally, the casing material used by the Apple Watch – titanium, stainless steel, and recycled aluminum – aren’t particularly resistant to extreme usage scenarios.

Apple could give its upcoming rugged avatar of Apple Watch a rubberized exterior with raised edges to protect the screen and a reinforced bumper for shock absorption. But of all that is speculation, and at this point in time, it is unclear what durability-centric upgrades are in the pipeline, and if Apple is going to make any sacrifices in the internal hardware or features department to make its upcoming rugged smartwatch more resilient.


View Amazfit T-Rex Pro at Amazon


View Apple Watch Series 6 at Amazon

 


Nadeem Sarwar

I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.



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