Apple Inc plans its largest smartwatch display to date, with a bigger battery and a rugged metal casing, as part of the upcoming Apple Watch geared toward extreme sports athletes, people with knowledge of the plans said.
The rugged version of the Apple Watch is to feature a screen that measures about 5cm diagonally, while a new Apple Watch Series 8 is to retain the 4.8cm diagonal screen size of Series 7. A planned update to the low-end Apple Watch SE is also to retain its screen size.
The larger display on the extreme sports model has a resolution of about 410 pixels by 502 pixels, and retains the same overall sharpness as existing models.
Apple could use the larger screen area to show more fitness metrics or other information on display at one time. The company added several new fitness features in watchOS 9, including multisport workouts and improved intensity tracking during exercise routines.
First released in 2015, the Apple Watch has become a key piece of the company’s hardware lineup. The watch models are included in the wearables, home and accessories division, which generated US$38.4 billion — or 10 percent of the company’s total revenue — in the past fiscal year.
However, smartwatches and fitness wearables are crowded markets, and Apple competes with products such as Google’s Fitbit and Samsung Electronics Co’s Galaxy Watch.
The extreme sports watch is to use strong metal material rather than aluminum, have a more shatter-resistant screen and include a larger battery compared with standard Apple Watches. This would allow athletes to track workouts for longer periods, the people said, who asked not to be identified.
As with the standard Series 8, the sturdier watch can measure body temperatures and detect fevers.
The watch is to feature improved tracking metrics, such as elevation during hiking, and can also be worn while swimming.
All of the new Apple Watches are to include an S8 processor with similar performance to the S7 chip in Series 7, which was on par with the S6 chip in the Apple Watch Series 6 two years ago. This marks the first time that the company is retaining the same general performance in the Apple Watch for three generations in a row.
The California-based company is planning four new iPhone 14 models for the fall, including new pro versions with faster chips and a 48-megapixel rear camera.
Apple typically announces its new watch and iPhone products in September each year.
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