Rugged Apple Watch 'Explorer Edition' Could Arrive Next Year

Apple is considering offering an "Explorer Edition" variant of the Apple Watch that features a more rugged casing as soon as next year, according to reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman.

Rugged Apple Watch Text Feature

Gurman's report explains that Apple may release a rugged Apple Watch model to offer an appropriate option for individuals who need a more durable 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.

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.

Interestingly, Gurman says that this is not the first time Apple has considered a rugged version of its smartwatch. The company apparently mulled releasing a model that appeals 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 Hermès 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 up to 50 meters, but Gurman suggests that Apple could make a new device more "rugged" with a rubberized, impact-resistant casing, making it less susceptible to damage in extreme environments compared to the current selection of aluminum, titanium, and stainless steel cases.

It is likely that an Explorer Edition Apple Watch would be able to cope with problematic substances like chemicals, dust, and sand more effectively. Such a model would likely appeal to athletes and hikers as Gurman mentions, but also individuals who are often in challenging environments, such as construction workers.

casio g shock ruggedCasio G-Shock DW-5600SKE-7ER Skeleton Series Watch

Apple currently offers a number of Apple Watch model variants. The Apple Watch with an aluminum case is lightweight and more affordable, while the Apple Watch with polished stainless steel case is a heavier, more premium version with a sapphire crystal screen that is more resistant to scratches. The Apple Watch Edition is an even higher-end version of the smartwatch, featuring lightweight brushed titanium.

There is also the Apple Watch Nike edition, featuring unique, lightweight bands for exercise, and the Apple Watch Hermès offers designer leather bands and exclusive classic-style watch faces. It does not seem out of the question, therefore, that Apple could add another "Explorer Edition" variant to the lineup.

Gurman initially said that the Explorer Edition could arrive as soon as this year, but has since explained that it is more likely to launch in 2022 at the earliest. He also included the caveat that his sources say it could be ultimately canceled or delayed.

The Apple Watch Series 7 is expected to launch later this year. While there have been reports of micro-LED displays and solid-state buttons with haptic feedback for the Apple Watch, these features are not expected to arrive this year. Instead, Gurman has said we can expect a display with slimmer bezels, a faster chip, and upgraded Ultra Wideband connectivity.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

iPhone SE 4 With Face ID Said to Be Priced Below $500

Monday May 20, 2024 3:43 am PDT by
Apple is targeting a sub-$500 starting price for its upcoming fourth-generation iPhone SE model despite a raft of rumored upgrades coming to the more affordable device. According to leaker Revegnus on X, the U.S. launch price of the fourth-generation iPhone SE will either remain at the same $429 starting price as the current model, or will see an increase of around 10%. Either way, Apple's...
iOS 17

Apple Releases iOS 17.5.1 With Fix for Reappearing Photos Bug

Monday May 20, 2024 10:11 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1, minor updates to the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating system updates that came out last September. The 17.5.1 updates come a week after the launch of iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5. iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1 can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's...
iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Tuesday May 21, 2024 7:29 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...
microsoft surface pro qualcomm

Microsoft Says New Surface Pro is Faster Than 15" M3 MacBook Air

Monday May 20, 2024 3:19 pm PDT by
Microsoft is going all in on AI, today introducing a series of Copilot+ PCs that have AI-focused hardware. The new Surface Pro is one of the first Copilot+ PCs, equipped with Qualcomm's Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite processor. Microsoft is already pitting the Surface Pro against Apple's M3 MacBook Air, and in marketing materials, claims that the Surface Pro has superior processing power and...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Perspective

iPhone 16 Lineup Rumored to Come in These Two New Colors

Sunday May 19, 2024 11:08 am PDT by
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today outlined his expectations for the iPhone 16 lineup's color options, revealing that two new colors should replace two of the existing shades. Kuo outlined his expectations in a post on X (formerly Twitter) earlier today. He believes that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be available in black, white or silver, gray or "Natural Titanium," and rose....