While the iPhone will once again take center stage at Apple's launch event tonight, the company's supporting cast is expected to get its moment in the limelight as well. According to the rumor mill, Apple is all but certain to unveil a new Apple Watch model today that goes beyond the incremental updates we've seen for the past few years. While we'll likely see that as well (think Series 8), Apple will reportedly add a more rugged "Pro" model to its smartwatch roster. The new model will likely be targeted at athletes who need their watch to withstand extreme conditions. It is expected to have a titanium casing, more fitness and health tracking capabilities and a premium price tag.
While the original Apple Watch is also marketed (and widely used) as a fitness companion, its waterproof exterior is still quite delicate and prone to scratches when things get a bit rougher. Considering the popularity of (expensive) extreme sports watches, a move into that segment, currently dominated by Garmin, would certainly make sense for Apple.
According to estimates from Counterpoint Research, Apple enjoys a commanding lead in the smartwatch market, accounting for 3 in 10 smartwatches shipped worldwide in 2021. Originally released in 2015, the Apple Watch is currently in its seventh generation, with each iteration gaining some new features, many of which have been health-oriented in recent years.