Apple is reportedly all set to reveal a rugged Apple Watch targeted at extreme sports enthusiasts, but folks who want to get their hands on it will have to pay an amount equivalent to a Pro iPhone in 2022. The upcoming wearable will be the first from Apple to target that niche, and it appears that the company is going all-in with its first attempt.
From early information that has already made its way online, the brawny smartwatch is already shaping up to be quite a lucrative offering. Even though the processor will essentially be the same as the silicon inside the Apple Watch Series 6, there are enough build and feature-side upgrades to generate some excitement.
In the latest edition of his PowerOn newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman pushed forward a logical explanation as to how the upcoming smartwatch might touch the $999 figure for its price tag. Gurman notes that the Apple Watch Edition trim of the Series 7 family with a Titanium case sets buyers back by $849. Since Apple is reportedly eyeing a material that is even sturdier compared to the Apple Watch Series 7 case options, it’s not surprising that the asking price will go up. Moreover, there will be a few more hardware-level tweaks, both inside and outside, to make sure that the water and dust-resistance capabilities get a boost. To recall, the Apple Watch Series 7 comes with an IP6X ingress protection rating and can only be used at a depth of up to 50 meters.
While 50 ATM water resistance is a fairly standard trait across the entire smartwatch ecosystem, Apple makes it clear that the Apple Watch Series 7 should be limited to shallow water activities such as swimming, and not scuba-diving or jet-skiing. In a nutshell, any activity that involves “high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth” is a no-go. The upcoming rugged iteration – tentatively called the Apple Watch Pro – would ideally be able to handle what the Apple Watch Series 7 can’t. And that somewhat justifies the asking price, especially to a segment of buyers who seek the reliability of an Apple Watch, but want its ruggedness to go up a notch, even if that means spending a few hundred dollars more.
The likes of Coros and Garmin already sell sports smartwatches in the $700+ price bracket, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Apple’s smartwatch gunning for the $900 price segment. “Given that the new high-end Apple Watch will pack in a slightly larger display, new sensors and higher-end materials, I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts closer to $900 to $999,” Gurman writes in his weekly newsletter. For comparison, the iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999. Aside from the added material costs to add an extra dash of durability, there will also be a few more upgrades. The screen size is reportedly touching the 2-inch mark, the biggest ever for an Apple smartwatch. Moreover, the temperature sensing feature that will tell users if they have fever symptoms will also be making its way to the rugged Apple Watch.