Apple is considering whether to launch a more ruggedized Apple Watch aimed at athletes and people doing outdoor activities in extreme environments, Bloomberg reported Friday.
This device could potentially be launched as early as this year or 2022. Inside Apple, the project is referred to as the “Explorer Edition” Apple Watch. It would offer the same basic functionality as the regular Apple Watch, but with added rubberized impact-resistance and protection — similar to Casio’s G-Shock line of watches.
Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman notes that:
“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. However, Casio Computer Co. and other watchmakers have seen strong sales from sturdier product designs with extra protection.”
An alternative for the more ruggedized Apple Watch users
This would be another alternative Apple Watch like the low-cost Apple Watch SE or the special editions co-branded with Nike. Bloomberg said that the launch is not guaranteed. It could still potentially be cancelled by Apple.
If Apple was to launch a device like this, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise. Apple Watch initially launched with a focus on the fashion market. However, fairly quickly Apple pivoted to making this a device built around things like exercise tracking and wellness. It already offers rubberized straps marketed under the Apple Watch Sport branding.
For most situations, the regular Apple Watch is totally fine for exercise. But, as this report notes, the Apple Watch Explorer Edition could be useful for “environments where the current aluminum, titanium and stainless steel cases might be prone to damage.”
Would you be in the market for a new, more rugged Apple Watch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.