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Apple may be considering brand new rugged Apple Watch design

Apple Watch Series 6 Blue Aluminum
Apple Watch Series 6 Blue Aluminum (Image credit: Daniel Bader / iMore)

What you need to know

  • A new report says Apple might have a rugged Apple Watch in the works.
  • It could come in 2021 or 2022 and would be aimed at athletes and the outdoors.

A new report claims Apple is working on a rugged Apple Watch that could debut later this year.

From Bloomberg:

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.

Apple reportedly thought about the idea once before, spurred by "strong sales" of watchmakers of sturdier devices. Mark Gurman says any such rugged option would be in addition to Apple's main Apple Watch model, just like how the Apple Watch Series 6 is complemented by the Apple Watch SE:

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 Watch would also feature a rubberized exterior for a more rugged design. An exciting prospect, Gurman tempers the rumor by stating the project may be delayed by Apple or ultimately canceled altogether.

A recent Apple Watch patent revealed the company has also considered redesigning Apple Watch with a flexible display and a move away from the square design of the current models.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.