Apple is planning a smartwatch with a larger screen and a rugged metal housing that will be released later this year.
The new Apple Watch is aimed at affluent extreme sports and will have a screen that measures almost two inches diagonally, according to a report from Bloomberg† It is expected to have a screen with 7% more screen area than the largest Apple Watch 7.
Apple has historically unveiled new versions of the Apple Watch in September, alongside new iPhone models. In September, it is expected to launch the standard Apple Watch 8 with the same dimensions as the Apple Watch 7, the rugged sports watch, new budget Watch SE models and four iPhone 14 models.
The Apple Watch 7 is available with a 41 mm (352 by 430 pixels) display or a 45 mm (396 by 484 pixels) display. It had thinner bezels than the Watch 6, giving it a larger screen area, and runs on the S7 chip.
Apple called the Watch 7 the “most durable Apple Watch ever” because of the tear-resistant crystal on the front. It was also the first Apple Watch to have an IP6X dust resistance rating and a water resistance rating of up to 50 meters.
But the Apple Watch for extreme sports will be even more durable. Apparently it will use a “strong metal material” compared to the current aluminum frame, and will have a more shatterproof screen. The screen will have a resolution of approximately 410 by 502 pixels, according to the report.
It will have a larger battery than the standard Apple Watch, so athletes can track workouts for longer, according to Bloomberg sources.
The longer battery life could also enhance Apple Watch’s appeal to Garmin’s popular rugged smartwatches like the Fenix 7 and Epix. lasting more than a week on a single charge†
Apple announced watchOS 9 at WWDC in Junewith new features of the Workout app, such as Custom Workouts for interval training, Multisport workout type for triathletes when switching between swimming, cycling and running, and new running stats.
All new Apple Watches announced this year will use an S8 processor with similar performance to the S7 and S6.
It’s not known what Apple’s starting price for the rugged Watch will be, but Bloomberg thinks it’ll likely be more than $699 for the standard stainless-steel Apple Watch. Apple also sells the Watch 7 in a titanium case starting at $799, while the entry-level aluminum case starts at $399.
Apple still dominates smartwatch shipments worldwide by a long mile, but rivals are emerging as cheaper devices gain traction in various markets. Counterpoint Research Estimated Apple Watch models accounted for 30% of all smartwatches sold worldwide until 2021. Samsung, its closest rival, had a 10.2% share, while Garmin, in sixth place, had a 4.6% share. Smartwatch sales were up 24% year over year.