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Apple might launch rugged smartwatch into G-SHOCK market this year

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Macrumours mocks up how an Apple Watch Explorer might look.

Seven years after the introduction of its first Apple Watch, Cupertino’s $2.8 trillion tech giant is looking to conquer the rugged watch market, according to industry commentators.

In the latest episode of The MacRumors Show podcast, Bloomberg’s guru on all things Apple Mark Gurman has revealed his predictions for what the iPhone maker has planned for 2022.

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Apple Watch was launched in 2015 in its rounded rectangle form, and has changed little over the past seven years.

That format helped Apple become the largest watchmaker in the world, selling more units than the entire Swiss industry by 2019 and every year since.

Far from decimating traditional watchmakers, Apple Watch has helped a generation raised on reading the time from their phones discover the pleasure and convenience of a wrist-worn device.

G-SHOCK, which has resisted the urge to go toe-to-toe with the tech sector’s touchscreen watch manufacturers, is enjoying one of its most successful periods for its ultra-rugged and sporty timekeepers, but Mr Gurman believes Apple has that part of the market in its sights.

An Apple Watch Explorer Edition is forecast to be launched this year with more rugged casing, possibly similar to Casio’s G-SHOCK wristwatches, Mr Gurman suggests.

The existing family of rounded square style of Apple Watches is also predicted to grow with the introduction of an even larger screen size at the top end and a higher price.

Mr Gurman added that additional sensors on the Apple Watch to monitor temperature, blood pressure and blood glucose are unlikely to appear in 2022.

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