Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is considering launching a new Apple Watch with a rugged casing aimed at extreme sports athletes, according to a report by Bloomberg that cited people familiar with the matter.
What Happened: The new watch is said to be aimed at athletes, hikers, and others who use the device in more extreme environments. Apple has internally discussed introducing the new watch variant later in 2021 or 2022 “at the earliest,” according to the report.
The new watch will likely complement the Apple Watch Series 7, similar to how the company offered the lower-cost Apple Watch SE along with the Apple Watch Series 6 last year, as per the report.
Apple is considering “a rubberized exterior” for the new watch that would be less prone to damage than the current aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium steel cases. The report also states Apple is looking to bring “extra impact-resistance and protection” to compete with rugged watches from Casio Computer Co. Ltd. (OTC: CSIOY) and other watchmakers.
Further, Apple is said to be working on new swim-tracking features for the Apple Watch.
Why It Matters: While the Apple Watch Series 6 is already water-resistant to 50 meters, the new watch is intended to appeal to extreme sports athletes. Apple had a 40% market share of the global smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to data from Counterpoint Research.
The Apple Watch is an important product for Apple and is part of the company’s wearables, home, and accessories segment that generated sales of $12.97 billion in the most recent quarter, up almost 30% year-over-year.
Price Action: Apple shares closed 0.5% higher on Friday at $121.21.
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