It looks like Apple is gearing up to take on rugged sports watches from the likes of Garmin and Casio G-Shock with the upcoming Watch Series 8.
We already know the Watch Series 8 will run Apple’s new watchOS9 software when it arrives later this year, and that operating system includes a range of new sports and fitness features, including a new multisport option for triathletes.
Add this to a new water-proofing technology Apple patented earlier this year, and it looks like a tougher and potentially more rugged Apple Watch is on the cards. Filed back in September 2020, the patent is titled ‘stand-alone water detection’ and describes a technology where two electrodes are separated by a dielectric membrane, forming a system that detects water ingress.
The current Apple Watch already meets the IOS standard 22810:2010, which means it can survive being plunged to depths of 50 metres. But given the new features of watchOS9, and the waterproofing patent, we’re starting to wonder if the Apple Watch 8 will be able to go much deeper.
We’d also like to see a more rugged look generally, at least for one model of Watch Series 8. Like how Apple has the Nike and Hermès special editions of Watch, we think customers would like another, tougher option built to shrug off extreme sports, the great outdoors, and more than just a swim in the pool.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has an excellent track record when it comes to Apple rumours, said in late-2021, via 9to5Mac, how Apple is expected to announce three models of Watch Series. These will include a successor to the Series 7, along with a new version of the cut-price Watch SE, and a rugged smartwatch with an all-new design. That watch is expected to rival the likes of Garmin, Polar and Casio’s G-Shock range in the rugged and sports watch market, where Apple (and other tech firms like Samsung) have yet to venture.
Bloomberg, another trusted source for Apple gossip, reported in April this year that a so-called Apple Watch ‘Explorer Edition’ is in the works. The report claims this watch will offer "extra impact-resistance and protection in the vein of Casio’s G-Shock watches".
Add all this together and 2022 could be a big year for the Apple Watch, as the company looks to strengthen its grip on the smartwatch market it already dominates, but also branch out into the sports watch category too.