Image source: Apple

Apple Watch SE 2 rumored to launch in 2022, along with a rugged Series 8 for sports

Apple is reportedly planning to launch a more robust Series 8 model in 2022, along with a low priced Watch SE 2.

A more rugged Apple Watch 8 Sports

This is not the first time we’ve heard of the possibility of a “rugged” model. Last Spring Mark Gurman from Bloomberg stated that unnamed Apple sources told him the Cupertino outfit is looking at branching into other models to target different buyer types.

While the more robust model would retain the square look of the other iterations, it would be useable in extreme environments. To this end the timepiece will pack a sturdier design which offers more protection.

We have seen a number of companies offering such products. Garmin and Casio spring to mind with their wide range of sports watches. Another popular brand is Amazfit. They’ve aunched a more rugged rugged T-Rex Pro earlier this year. There’s obviously a market for this sort of thing that includes athletes, hikers, mountaineers and others.

Which means the rugged Apple Watch would use existing technology – only things such as water-resistance and build would be upgraded. For example, Apple could use a rubberized exterior to make the device more shock resistant.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

All of this was expected in 2021. Unfortunately, the upgrades that came with Series 7 in September were miniscule. The most important is the slightly bigger display. And there was zero mention of a more rugged model.

Now Mark Gurman is doubling down on his prediction. In the current installment of his Power On newsletter, he says the rugged version will still come. But that it will be in the form of an Apple Watch Series 8 sports model.

If you keep repeating something until it happens – is it really a prediction? Perhaps it is, perhaps it is not. In fairness, 2021 was not a regular year. Many companies postponed their launch plans due to the on-going chip shortage, never ending pandemic and energy shortages in certain Asian countries.

Apple Watch SE 2

This is not where Gurman’s predictions end. He adds that we will also get an update to the Apple Watch SE in 2022. That one was released back in September 2020 as a version for those on a budget, as a mid-level option. The device borrows a lot from the Apple Watch Series 6 but omits some of its functions such as SpO2 and ECG. It also doesn’t support the always-on display option.

The fact that we didn’t see a SE 2 model in 2021 should come as no surprise. Apple often skips years before updating SE models of its products. But Gurman expects that we will see Watch SE 2 in September 2022 with a slightly tweaked design and a boost in health features as compared to its predecessor.

The model that definitely will go ahead, though, is the Apple Watch Series 8. The hope of most is that we will see new health sensors and improved battery life. There’s even talk we might even get blood-pressure tracking and perhaps glucose monitoring this time around. If we do it will be a game-changer.

As far as other features, the rumored flat-edged design never surfaced in 2021. But it could next year. To remind, there was lots of talk that Series 7 would come with a square-ish look comparable to the likes of the iPhone 12 and iPad Pros. That would be the first major change to the Apple Watch designed since the original model.

It is still early days but there has been one design leak of the Series 8 model. Contrary to the flat-edged hopes of some, it suggests the look will stay largely the same. As the image below shows, the major difference is a slightly different speaker grill. It will have a set of parallel openings instead of just one. Such a marginal change is not really something to write home about.

Of course, none of the above has been confirmed or denied by the tech giant just yet. Don’t hold you breath – we don’t expect it will. We don’t know for sure what Series 8 will bring. No one does – at least not at this early stage. The only thing that is pretty much a certainty is that it will launch in September 2022. With perhaps a Watch SE 2 model.

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