Swatch CEO on Apple iWatch potential: ‘Personally, I don’t believe it’s the next revolution’

“Swatch Group AG Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek said he’s skeptical that an interactive watch could replace an iPhone, talking down the prospects for a project that Apple Inc. has hinted it’s working on,” Thomas Mulier reports for Bloomberg News.

Mulier reports, “‘Personally, I don’t believe it’s the next revolution,’ the chief of the largest Swiss watchmaker said at a press conference on annual results in Grenchen, Switzerland. ‘Replacing an iPhone with an interactive terminal on your wrist is difficult. You can’t have an immense display.'”


MacDailyNews Take: Siri doesn’t require an immense display. And who said anything about “replacing?” What about “augmenting/complementing?”

“In addition to size limiting the amount of information that can be shown, consumers often buy watches as a jewelry item and like to change them, Hayek said,” Mulier reports. “Swatch has had contact with Apple over many years about materials for products and so-called energy harvesting technology that would generate energy from physical movement, Hayek said today.”

Mulier reports, “The Swiss company said in 2011 it obtained a license to use alloys made by Liquidmetal Technologies Inc. (LQMT) in watches, gaining access to metal that’s moldable like plastic. Apple, based in Cupertino, California, also made a patent- licensing agreement with Liquidmetal.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If Apple actually releases this rumored iWatch, Hayek’s “Personally, I don’t believe it’s the next revolution” quote has the potential to become the next:

We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.Palm CEO Ed Colligan, commenting on then-rumored Apple iPhone, Nov. 16, 2006


    1. Well, Nick Hayek hasn’t done anything to become a CEO, he just happens to be the son of the late Nicolas Hayek who founded the swatch group. So probably he knows nothing what he’s talking about. Best wishes from Switzerland

    1. With apologies to Jony Ives, be carefully how you phrase thinking “outside”, because by using the word “box” you’ve already got a concept of a cube.


  1. “he’s skeptical that an interactive watch could replace an iPhone”

    What? How about replacing a conventional watch? How about making me want to wear a watch again?

    Like, MS and netbook makers were “skeptical that the iPad could replace the PC”. It didn’t have to replace the PC: it replaced the netbook, and no new PC have been bought.

    Like everyone was skeptical that Apple (the computer guys) could make a phone. Hello? Watch out. I wouldn’t be too skeptical too loudly. Might find yourself out of a job.

    As far as, “consumers often buy watches as a jewelry item and like to change them” :
    Yes, I like a lot of different watches (Fossil for example) that have various face styles and backgrounds, some even animated. I have two or three watches I have had for several years. But why collect 10 different watches, when I can just change the wallpaper on my interactive watch from Apple? Hello. Maybe buy a new strap once in a while; but keep adding new, functional apps, and changing the wall paper, and I have a “brand new” interactive watch every day.

    1. I haven’t worn or bought a watch in I don’t know how long. When you think about what you typically use a watch for, i.e., finding out what time it is, the iPhone is just as handy and I probably want to look at it anyway. However, if a watch were multi-functional, and could bring some of the functionality of the iPhone to the wrist (not browsing the web, not watching a movie, some of the functionality that requires little screen real estate) and thereby eliminate the need to pull out the iPhone, then I think that watch would be a winner. I have a Pebble on order. When/if the Apple iWatch comes out, we’ll see how they compare.

      1. Pulling an iPhone out of your pocket is not all that hard; is that supposed to be their value proposition for buying yet another gadget? So now we need a remote for our phones? I thought Apple’s philosophy was to make life simpler.

        If that is what comes out of Cupertino, then I’ll have to give it to the post-Jobs-doomsday advocates.

      2. No. No the iPhone is not as convenient as a watch for telling time. With a watch you simply glance at your wrist. You can do that in a millisecond. As opposed to pulling something out of your pocket and looking at it. After you press the home button. So no, it’s not even close. I believe that the iWatch could be a supplemental device. Or could just be a head fake to sidetrack Samsung.

        1. Yes it is faster to check the time on a watch, but does that justify another piece of silicon wrapped around your wrist? It’s not how cool it is. Geeks aside, it’s how much easier your life is after the purchase.

  2. The Manipulator: Where are they now? Ed Colligan is currently working the privates of equity firm Elevation Partners. He takes major financial backers of Palm.

    Up next…weather report, just where IS the sun shinning?

  3. Yeah, we’ve heard that before, Palm, RIP er, RIM, MSFT… That said, I am very curious about what Apple has in mind. I can’t think of anything that would make me go back to wearing something around my wrist. The wow effect should be exponentially bigger than what the iPhone was back in 2007, and that is no small feat.

    1. Are we sure Apple has a watch in mind? Over the last couple-a-three weeks we’ve heard alot from unnamed sources ‘familiar with the issue’ based on some patent applications, but until Apple say it has a watch, is it worth worrying about for mere spectators and end users of Apple products?

      Of course Wallstreet will worry about it, trying to find the negative Apple is doomed spin.

      Swatch, Timex and whoever else should worry, just in case its true, but I doubt they could respond with anything meaningful.

      Why does every single thing Apple do have to be exponentially bigger better, faster, industry destroying/redefining, cheaper with higher margins, fueled by the air around it, transparent and opaque at the same time, able to defy the laws of physics, mint money from banana leaves, flush the toilet and babysit the kids while baking brownies and shopping for the party next week while filling in for you at work…… (Why are such impossible standards and expectations placed on Apple, and no other copy-cat company)?

      1. Well, it is Apple placing those standards upon itself in the first place. That is why it is the biggest company on earth, the most admired and has legions of loyal followers such as ourselves. If they don’t stick to those impossible standards and do like copy-cats our loyalty to them should be the same one we pledge to Samsung or Google

    1. totally agree.

      The thing is, when Apple identifies a problem and produces a product, it usually solves a problem we didn’t know we had, or so elegantly outpaces all currently available ‘solutions’, that it does often seem revolutionary.

      1. Yes and that’s a double edged sword for sure. It’s nice to be the company that has the ability to do that, but when each one is not a “revolution” our stock drops like a stone and the press descends on Apple like an angry mob with torches.

  4. Sounds familiar…..

    “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent *watch*. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

  5. I think the iWatch will just be an accessory to the iPhone and will have a limited function set. MDN is still wrong about Siri — she’s not ready to be a full-time interface. Too slow and way too many errors.

  6. Since these rumors started, I’ve been keeping my eye on people who wear watches and have noticed – the only people I see wearing watches are either over 55 years old, and have a very expensive time piece, or very young people who are wearing cheap watches (like a Swatch) as an accessory. Either way – 55 yrs old + aren’t going to want the technology strapped to their wrist, or are going to view the Apple watch as cheap and gimmicky. And the younger people aren’t going to want to be stuck with the one expensive device – they want cheap and inter-changeable.

    But that’s the current watch users – Apple is probably looking right at everyone in between those 2 groups who –
    1) like technology, and
    2) want something nicer than a Swatch, but not worth a week’s worth of pay for just a time piece.

    1. What you’re saying is that the fashion component of an iWatch would be bigger than the technological appeal. Apple going into fashion, mmmm. Nice brand extension if they can pull the trick, but not so appealing to the core of their current customers, the ones that buy macs and ipads because they are the best piece of software available with beautiful hardware wrapped around it.

    2. I think of wristwatches as fashion accessories. If Apple produces something to be worn around the wrist, it will be a series of attractive bracelets. Women will buy and wear them for exactly the reason they will not buy and wear Google’s Glasses.

  7. If the iWatch monitored vital signs and called 911 if there in the danger zone who wouldn’t buy one. Since it has contact with the skin things like pulse and oxygen levels and who knows what else can be easily measured. Of course you could activate it yourself if you fell and couldn’t get up

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