Apple may release three versions of the Apple Watch Series 8 alongside the iPhone 14 this year, and one may be a rugged, extreme sports-focused model. It’s not the first time a rugged Apple Watch has been rumored, but the latest report gives a hint about the possible name, and a potentially very high price.
Apple could use the “Apple Watch Pro” name and charge $1,000 for the new smartwatch according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a reliable source of Apple news. This renaming would bring it into line with Apple’s other product ranges, where the “Pro” model is widely recognized as being a step above the standard model. See the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, iPad and the iPad Pro, and the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro for evidence.
What will make it Pro? Apparently, the Apple Watch Pro is said to offer a larger display that will be more shatter-resistant. It could get enhanced hiking and swim tracking alongside a rugged case, which could be made of titanium. To help attract people who may look at non-touchscreen sports smartwatches, where battery life is prioritized, Apple may engineer the Watch Pro to provide longer battery life. The battery in an Apple Watch lasts about a day and a half at the moment, and that’s without features like GPS active all the time.
If the Watch Pro is to be taken seriously by outdoor sports enthusiasts, it needs to last longer. Whether Apple does this through a larger battery, or dedicated battery-saving modes, remains to be seen. Gurman also speculates it will have a cellular connection, which would affect battery life even further, despite also providing more versatility and safety features.
Apple may use the Watch Pro to replace its expensive, more luxury-focused Apple Watch Edition models. The current Apple Watch Series 7 with a titanium case (instead of aluminum or stainless steel) starts at $849, it comes with a sapphire crystal over the screen for further protection, and is only available with a cellular connection. If it does increase the price of the Apple Watch Pro to $1,000, Apple will really need to deliver on the additional features and toughness for it to tempt people away from Garmin, Polar, and other sports smartwatches that cost around $500 even for the top models.