Rugged Apple Watch Series 8 Pro may require new bands

A rugged version of the Apple Watch for outdoor enthusiasts is expected to debut at next week’s iPhone 14 launch event. The Apple Watch Series 8 Pro will reportedly feature a larger 47mm-48mm watch face with a flat display and may even necessitate a new watch band.

For comparison, the Apple Watch Series 7 is offered with your choice of 41mm or 45mm case size. The more affordable Apple Watch SE is sold with 40mm or 44mm cases while the lingering Apple Watch Series 3 – the cheapest of the bunch starting at $199 – is available in 38mm or 42mm sizes.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, a well-known Apple analyst, tweeted in response to the rumor saying he believes the Apple Watch Pro will support older bands. Given the size of the new watch, however, older bands might not fit well or look seamless when installed.

Earlier reports suggested the watch’s case will be crafted from a durable metal and feature a more shatter-resistant screen. A bigger battery and an updated low-power mode could result in improved battery life, perhaps stretching to several days on a single charge.

The Pro, along with the standard-issue Apple Watch Series 8 and revised Apple Watch SE, are all expected to be powered by a new S8 chip. This SoC is expected to offer performance in line with the earlier S7 and S6 chips. With the new watches, one would think Apple will finally discontinue the Series 3 that launched in 2017.

The Apple Watch Series 8 Pro may also be significantly more expensive, with at least one rumor putting it near the $1,000 mark. For comparison, a Series 7 watch starts at $399.

Last week, Apple sent out customary media invitations for its next product launch. The iPhone 14 will be the star of the September 7 show but new smartwatches are also expected on the docket. What isn’t likely to surface is Apple’s mixed reality headset. Reality One, as it might be called, probably won’t make an appearance until early 2023.