Apple is expected to launch a ‘rugged’ version of the Apple Watch aimed at athletes in 2022, alongside two other new smartwatches.
According to an Apple tipster, the ‘ruggedized’ watch would be more durable and resistant to scratches to compete with rival firms including Garmin and Coros.
Apple could also reveal an updated version of the Apple Watch SE, the lower-cost model that was first revealed in autumn 2020.
Both models are expected to hit the market around the same time as Apple’s flagship wearable, Apple Watch Series 8.
Apple will launch three smartwatches in 2022, according to a respected Apple tipster. Pictured is the Apple Watch Series 7 in various colours, released this year
APPLE SMART WATCHES FOR 2022?
– Rugged Apple Watch
– Apple Watch SE 2
– Apple Watch Series 8
Source: Mark Gurman/Bloomberg
The rumoured release details come from Apple tipster Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, writing in the latest installment of his Power On newsletter. MailOnline has contacted Apple for comment.
It’s likely the three Apple smartwatches that make up the 2022 range will be released in the autumn, which is when the iPhone 14 is expected to be announced.
Gurman said the ‘Rugged Apple Watch’ would be a ‘ruggedized version aimed at extreme sports athletes’.
‘2021 was a modest year for Apple product updates, but I’d expect a wider-range of new products in 2022,’ he said.
Apple has released a new flagship Apple Watch every year since 2015. This year’s Apple Watch Series 7, supposedly its most durable to date, was released in autumn with up to 33 per cent faster charging and a bigger display, with prices starting from £369.
As yet, not much is known about the Apple Watch Series 8, which should be released next autumn as expected, along with the other two new models.
Apple only recently released its Series 7 smartwatch but rumours are already circulating about its next generation of wearables
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Apple Watch Series 8 could potentially have a flat-edge design and will likely come equipped with a temperature sensor.
As for the updated version of the Apple Watch SE, Gurman revealed fewer details in his newsletter.
SE is the name for Apple’s lower-price products – not just for smartwatches but iPhones too. In 2020, Apple released iPhone SE 2, four years after the original iPhone SE.
The £249 Apple Watch SE, released in September 2020, is a lower-price option for wearers, but it lacks features including an always-on display, a blood oxygen sensor and an electrocardiogram (ECG).
Gurman didn’t mention what upgrades will be included in the 2022 version – possibly called Apple Watch SE 2 – or whether it would be more expensive than the original.
The Apple tipster is described as ‘respected’ and has a good track record when it comes to accurate reveals of the tech giants products.
Apple Track, a blog that keeps tabs on Apple rumours and the sources that publish them, currently gives him an accuracy rating of 87 per cent.
It’s not the first time rumours of a rugged Apple Watch have surfaced from Gurman, however – in March, he reported the ‘Explorer Edition’ would have a more durable rubber frame and extra impact-resistance to hold up in ‘extreme environments.
In March, Gurman said Apple would release rumored ‘Explorer Edition’ later this year or early 2022. Pictured: An Apple Watch Series 6 (released in 2020)
He said it would launch later this year or early 2022, but it appears his estimations for a release date have now been pushed back.
Apple considered a more rugged version of its Apple Watch when it first launched the wearable to much fanfare in 2015, but never released this product to consumers.
In 2022, Apple could also announce at least five new Mac devices, an updated iPad lineup and new AirPods, as well as the smartwatch range.
Gurman thinks the next year is also the year Apple will finally release its long-awaited augmented reality (AR) headset.
This corroborates predictions from another respected leaker, Ming-Chi Kuo, who said the AR headset will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2022.
APPLE WILL FINALLY LAUNCH ITS AR HEADSET NEXT YEAR, RESPECTED LEAKER CLAIMS
Apple could launch its augmented reality headset next year, a Hong Kong-based leaker claims.
The headset will be released in the fourth quarter of 2022 and contain two processors, one ‘with the same computing power level as the Mac’, said Ming-Chi Kuo in a research note as viewed by MacRumors.
This processor will be ‘similar’ to M1, Apple’s own in-house-designed computer chip, currently used in its Macintosh computers and iPad Pro tablets.
The second, lower-end processor, meanwhile, will manage the ‘sensor-related aspects’ of the headset. Computing power of this sensor will be ‘significantly higher’ than that of the iPhone, however.
Kuo also said the headset will be able to support virtual reality (VR) as well as AR, thanks to a pair of 4K Micro OLED displays from Sony.
AR layers computer-generated images on top of an existing reality – Pokémon Go being a famous example – while VR is wholly virtual.
Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities in Hong Kong, is known for garnering information on Apple’s plans from his contacts within the company’s Asian supply chain.
However, Kuo predicted in June that the will launch in spring 2022, so it seems the timeframe has been pushed back – and could be pushed back again.
In October 2021, Kuo said Apple’s upcoming headset will also be wireless and use Wi-Fi 6E, the newest version of Wi-Fi, allowing it faster speeds and a higher number of connections.
It’s possible the Apple headset will still likely have to connect to an iPhone or Mac computer, but that a future iteration of the device may not.
According to another recent report from Digitimes, citing supply chain sources, the product will cost as much $2,000 (£1,500).
The upcoming headset would likely not be aimed at consumers, but instead be geared towards developers and business customers, this report alleged.
A more consumer focused AR product, known as Apple Glass, would be released until 2023 at the earliest and would look more like a conventional pair of spectacles, it added.
A 2019 report from The Information collaborates the suggestion that Apple is working on two AR/VR products.
Apple Glass would present a digital display on the lenses to complement surrounding environments, such as arrows to help consumers find their destination in cities.
Making Apple Glasses look more like normal glasses instead of a more chunky headset could make them more appealing to the consumer market.