With Its New Watch Series 2, Apple Poses A Challenge To FitBit And Garmin

Apple is now the second biggest watchmaker in the world.

09/09/2016 9:03 AM IST | Updated 09/09/2016 10:06 AM IST
Beck Diefenbach / Reuters

Apple has never been shy about flaunting its achievements. Onstage at the iPhone 7 launch yesterday, CEO Tim Cook proudly announced that the Cupertino, California-based company had become the world's second largest watchmaker.

Beck Diefenbach / Reuters

This was Cook's testimony to the success of its smartwatch, called Apple Watch. Rolled in along with the iPhone 7 launch was the unveiling of Apple Watch's next iteration, the Apple Watch Series 2, which comes with new features and the all new Watch OS 3.

There is a significant hardware update. Apple Watch Series 2 is water resistant for up to 50 metres, a great feature for fitness enthusiasts who like to swim. Apple has also added new features related to fitness tracking while swimming.

The new Apple watch also has built-in GPS for better tracking of movement. Even if the watch is not connected to the wearer's iPhone, GPS, local data, and WiFi, it will be able to provide a more accurate location.

GPS in watches is now a norm, so while the original Apple Watch didn't have GPS, recently launched smartwatches such as Xiaomi AmazeFit, Asus Zenwatch 3, and Samsung Gear S3 all came with an embedded GPS chip.

Additionally, Apple has developed a new S2 chip which is faster and more power efficient. This chip will be included in all newly manufactured Apple Watches including the Series 1 watch.

Introducing the Apple Watch Series 2 yesterday, Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer, did not say anything about battery life. The new S2 chip might help with longer battery life, but with a brighter 1000 nit display, it is unlikely that the watch will last more than a day without being recharged.

Beck Diefenbach / Reuters
Apple Inc. COO Jeff Williams discusses the Apple Watch Series 2 during an Apple media event in San Francisco, California, U.S. September 7, 2016. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

"We're thrilled with the response to Apple Watch and how it's changed people's lives. We are committed to fitness and health, and think our customers will love the new capabilities of Apple Watch Series 2," Williams said. "With a powerful new dual-core processor, water resistance at 50 metres and built-in GPS, Apple Watch Series 2 is packed with features to help our customers live a healthy life."

Apple has updated the health app with more precise movement tracking. For instance, for outdoor activity, the watch will point out the average speed and variations after completion.

Beck Diefenbach / Reuters

The company has also partnered with Nike for a special edition watch, called Apple Watch Nike+. The limited edition watch will have a different design along with some additional software features that will assist runners, such as a specially designed band for sweat management. The owners of the watch will also have access to Nike+ run club which provides advanced guidance to runners.

All the Apple Watch variations will be running the new Watch OS 3. The company has ensured that the newest iteration of the Watch OS will help apps load faster, along with displaying more details on the dock.

Apple Watch Series 2 will be available in India from 7 October, along with iPhone 7. The base model costs a hefty ₹32,900. The company has also launched a new ceramic Watch Edition, that will cost a cool ₹110,900.

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