A more rugged Apple Watch design could be on the way

Apple Watch 6
The Apple Watch Series 6. (Image credit: Future)

The Apple Watch has been a big hit, but it seems that Apple wants an even larger market share: it's now reportedly looking to take on the likes of Garmin and Casio with a more rugged version of its wearable.

As per sources speaking to Bloomberg, an Apple Watch with rugged casing is under consideration, with athletes, hikers and anyone who hangs out in "extreme environments" the target market.

This is an idea Apple has thought about before, apparently – Bloomberg says an "extreme sports" version of the smartwatch was being weighed up back in 2015. If the new version gets the green light, we might see it in 2021 or 2022.

The new model is said to have the name 'Explorer Edition' inside Apple, though it's not clear if that will stick all the way to a full launch. Extra impact resistance and protection are rumored to be key to the design, with a rubber exterior mentioned.

Watch this space

The current Apple Watch is water-resistant to 50 meters, but we're assuming the Explorer Edition will go further in terms of the sort of temperatures and knocks it can survive, much like something along the lines of the Casio G-Shock series.

We're expecting the Apple Watch 7 around September time, so if Apple is going to get an updated variation out by the end of this year, that might be when it launches – though it doesn't leave the Apple team much time to get it ready.

We do know that Apple has been open to making different editions of its smartwatch in the past, with the affordable SE version arriving last year and special models launched in partnership with Nike and Hermès in the past.

For now we can't verify whether these rumors are true or not, but Bloomberg's sources say the rugged model of the Apple Watch could still be canceled, delayed, or given the go ahead – so don't take this as certain to happen just yet.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.