Medical Tech

Apple shifts focus to fitness with latest watch

 (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

When Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook introduced the Apple Watch two years ago, he touted its many abilities, including to display email, a calendar, the weather and to make phone calls.

Mr. Cook also described the watch’s health features. But when Apple unveiled an updated model last week, however, the focus was clearly on sports and fitness. “We think Apple Watch is the ultimate device for a healthy life,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer.

The evolving presentations underscore a shift in Apple’s marketing focus for the watch, from a stylish jack-of-all-trades fashion accessory to a personal trainer.

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Apple designed the new version, called Series 2, to be water resistant to a depth of 50 meters, thanks to a custom-designed speaker system that flushes out water after a swim. Apple also touted a partnership with Nike Inc. to market sports-themed watches along with GPS capability that helps the device track hikes, runs and bicycle rides.

Analysts estimate that Apple sold about 12 million watches in the year following its April 2015 launch, but the product hasn’t proved to be a breakout hit like the iPhone; Apple has sold more than one billion iPhones over the past nine years. One rumored feature Apple didn’t add to the watch: a cellular connection, so the watch can handle calls independent of an iPhone.

Click for more from the Wall Street Journal.