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Apple is weighing up the possibility of launching an Apple Watch with a rugged casing that's made for use in extreme environments, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

apple-watch-6s-202009.jpeg

From the report:
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.

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.
As noted by Gurman, this isn't the first time Apple has considered a rugged smartwatch. The company mulled releasing a model to appeal to extreme sports athletes alongside the original Apple Watch, which launched in 2015.
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 water resistant to 50 meters, but Gurman suggests that Apple could make a new device more "rugged" by giving it a rubberized casing, making it more resistant to damage in extreme environments compared to the current lineup of aluminum, titanium, and stainless steel cases.

Despite actively considering such a model, Gurman includes the usual caveat about rumored future products by noting that his sources say it could be ultimately canceled or delayed.

Apple is also working on new swim tracking features for the Apple Watch, according to the report, although no additional details were given.

Apple typically launches new Apple Watch models in September, but rumors are thin on the ground when it comes to a Series 7 model. According to Korean site ETNews, Apple will add blood glucose monitoring capabilities to the Apple Watch Series 7 using a non-invasive optical sensor.

Other rumors indicate a future version of the Apple Watch may adopt solid state buttons that don't physically click but instead provide haptic feedback to users when the buttons are touched, but it's not clear when this is coming.

Article Link: Bloomberg: Apple May Launch Rugged Apple Watch Model for Extreme Sports as Soon as This Year
 
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Unami

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2010
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Austria
Thank you very much, but the watch is surprisingly rugged, and while I sometimes bump it against things, I hardly drop it - and even if, the small display naturally withstands a lot more abuse than bigger ones . I‘d rather take a rugged, non slippery iphone. You know, without glass back...
 

scubachap

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Aug 30, 2016
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I've often wondered why they haven't done this. They could probably own the dive computer market in a couple years. (One universal device that you swop and change deco software as you needed using apps.) Garmin are dipping their toes into the water (sorry!) with their descent but it feels proprietary and eye wateringly expensive.
 

Unggoy Murderer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2011
937
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Edinburgh, UK
Thank you very much, but the watch is surprisingly rugged, and while I sometimes bump it against things, I hardly drop it - and even if, the small display naturally withstands a lot more abuse than bigger ones . I‘d rather take a rugged, non slippery iphone. You know, without glass back...
You can buy some great and inexpensive rugged cases for your iPhone though? With the watch, you can get guards and cases, but their size makes them fiddly and bulky.
 

ForkHandles

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2012
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I've often wondered why they haven't done this. They could probably own the dive computer market in a couple years. (One universal device that you swop and change deco software as you needed using apps.) Garmin are dipping their toes into the water (sorry!) with their descent but it feels proprietary and eye wateringly expensive.
For running/cycling Garmin is the bee’s knees, a you say, it’s pricey, but there really is nothing to compare with the metrics it creates for you.
If I didn’t have garmin I would be tempted by AW, as it’s a great all rounder.
 

Abazigal

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Jul 18, 2011
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I've often wondered why they haven't done this. They could probably own the dive computer market in a couple years. (One universal device that you swop and change deco software as you needed using apps.) Garmin are dipping their toes into the water (sorry!) with their descent but it feels proprietary and eye wateringly expensive.

Maybe Apple hasn’t figured out how to make one that doesn’t look like crap?
 
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DanTSX

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Gross. An armored Apple Watch for tactical Timmy the angry cop. I’m sure it will look like a casio G Shock. (I actually regularly wear a Casio G Shock, but it is a high end model you have to import from Japan)

Apple already has a highly durable Apple Watch. It’s the steel model with the sapphire screen crystal.
 

rp2011

macrumors 68020
Oct 12, 2010
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Awesome news. I wear a plain basic timex at work (construction) and stopped wearing my Apple Watch for this very reason. I would love to track my heart rate during work hours, and quickly glance at who’s calling without pulling out my phone.
I did try out the new faceless Amazon activity tracker for this very reason, but it was complete junk.
 
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DanTSX

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Maybe Apple hasn’t figured out how to make one that doesn’t look like crap?
Some of Garmin’s more recent higher end offerings are pretty good looking. But to your point, the rest look terrible outside of their intended use case.

Still not as sleek and futuristic as Apple’s wrist blob.

This actually brings up a good debate. Should Apple consider the current (and mostly original) watch case shape to be iconic, and only progress forward with iterative changes to it’s current form? Or should Apple Watch occasionally recreate itself

Personally, I’d love to see a traditional lugged case with a round screen in the 40mm range with case lugs no more than 50-52mm. Something like Tag Heuer is doing, but made by Apple and not Tag.
 

DanTSX

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Oct 22, 2013
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Awesome news. I wear a plain basic timex at work (construction) and stopped wearing my Apple Watch for this very reason. I would love to track my heart rate during hours, and quickly glance at who’s calling without pulling out my phone.
I did try out the new faceless Amazon activity tracker for this very reason, but it was complete junk.
Casio G Shock has some models you want to consider....
 
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Abazigal

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Jul 18, 2011
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But to your point, the rest look terrible outside of their intended use case.
Garmin watches look that way for reason. They are hardy and designed to take knocks without losing a sweat. It's also why I switch back to my old g-shock watch whenever I had to go back for my 2-week military training every year in the past, because I was afraid of accidentally damaging my apple watch while moving heavy equipment or during outfield exercises, didn't want to fuss over battery life and needed a device with a second hand to time-hack.

Apple's smartwatches are intended to look trendy and fashionable and you would ideally be as comfortable wearing them to a fancy dinner as much as you would go swimming with it. I am not sure Apple can maintain its fashion aspect while retaining the metallic finish.
 

pshufd

macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2013
8,163
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For running/cycling Garmin is the bee’s knees, a you say, it’s pricey, but there really is nothing to compare with the metrics it creates for you.
If I didn’t have garmin I would be tempted by AW, as it’s a great all rounder.

I have a Felix 5+ and it’s fantastic and i may upgrade to the 7 when it comes out. I originally bought it after a cardiac episode but it’s great for running and Garmin Connect is great for managing your sports and health data. I look at the AW from time to time but Garmin Connect, battery life and special device support keep me with Garmin.

I also prefer a round watch. There are some rumors that Apple is working on a round watch and I may look at that. AW is a much better smart watch and that’s what the vast majority want. Garmin is for people who want more fitness functionality, and battery life.
 
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pshufd

macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2013
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Solid state buttons would eliminate the problem of gloves randomly pushing the the existing buttons, but introduce the same unreliability the screen has with fingers sweaty from a workout.

I run in freezing temperatures and the buttons work a lot better than a touchscreen. I had a Garmin Forerunner 630 which is touchscreen and I’d thought that I’d miss it with the Felix but buttons are much better once you memorize the controls and menus.
 
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