Two years ago, Apple Inc. executives made the case that anyone with an iPhone would be better off also owning the company’s new smartwatch.
But as many gadget buyers remain unsure about the usefulness of high-tech timepieces, Apple this week pitched its second-edition watch to a much narrower audience.
Workout and activity tracking capabilities surged to the front and center, taking over the spotlight from messaging features and customizable timefaces. The promotional video for the Watch Series 2 featured almost only athletes: swimmers, tennis and basketball players, cyclists, skateboarders and runners.
The shift in approach reflects some major technical...