This is at least the second time Apple has mulled a rugged smartwatch
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.
The Cupertino, California-based technology
giant has internally discussed introducing such a Watch variation later in 2021 or 2022 at the earliest, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters.
This is at least the second time Apple
has mulled a rugged smartwatch. After launching the first version of the Apple Watch
in 2015, the company weighed a new model to better appeal to extreme sports athletes. The current version is still popular with runners, hikers, and swimmers, and Apple has added several sports and activity-tracking features via its annual update cycle.
If Apple goes ahead this time, the rugged version would be an additional model similar to how Apple offers a lower-cost option called the Apple Watch
SE and special editions co-branded with Nike Inc and Hermes International. Sometimes dubbed the “Explorer Edition” inside Apple, the product would have the same functionality as a standard Apple Watch
but with extra impact-resistance and protection in the vein of Casio’s G-Shock watches.
The latest Apple Watch models are already water-resistant to 50 meters — at the high end for most smartwatches. But Apple could make a new device more “rugged” by giving it a rubberised exterior that would be useful for environments where the current aluminium, titanium and stainless steel cases might be prone to damage.