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Tim Culpan

Apple Is Finally Chasing the Lucrative Ironman Crowd

Catering to that long tail of niche users with a sports watch is making Apple the brand that more consumers can’t resist.

Meet Apple’s newest target market.

Meet Apple’s newest target market.

Photographer: Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images 

In the seven years since Apple Inc. released its first Apple Watch, the device has sold more than 100 million units, catapulting it to 30% of the global smartwatch market. Yet it’s struggled to grab a small but important niche: endurance sports.

Peruse the start of any Ironman triathlon race and you’ll see Garmin products dominating the wrists of the world’s most elite athletes. These are consumers who spend $10,000 on a bicycle and travel around the globe to compete at some of the world’s most majestic courses. But they’ve largely snubbed Apple in favor of multisport watches from the premier name in outdoor adventure and navigation.