Swatch preps Apple Watch killer

“Swatch Group AG plans to start selling a smartwatch within the next three months, potentially pitting the Swiss maker of colorful plastic timepieces against the debut of the Apple Watch,” Corinne Gretler reports for Bloomberg. “The device will communicate via a form of technology known as NFC and won’t have to be charged, Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek said in an interview. The Swatch smartwatch will also let consumers make mobile payments and work with Windows and Android software, he said.”

“Hayek is ready to go head-to-head with Apple Inc., which has scheduled its smartwatch introduction for April,” Gretler reports. “Hayek has been skeptical about the smartwatch’s potential. Two years ago, he said that he didn’t think the smartwatch would be a “revolution” for the industry. He has repeatedly voiced concern that watch screens are too small for communicating and that such devices might need too much charging. Last year, he said Swatch won’t participate in a race to be first in developing the products because of consumer resistance.”

Gretler reports, “Swatch is in talks with retailers on its payment system, Hayek said, without naming them.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: 🙂

Related articles:
Swatch plans fitness-based touch wristwatch, says CEO – July 28, 2014
Apple hires TAG Heuer sales director – July 6, 2014
Swatch CEO: ‘We’re going to wait’ on smartwatches – June 17, 2014
Swatch objects to authorities over Apple’s filing for ‘iWatch’ trademarks – May 4, 2014
Apple’s iWatch could take out Swatch, others, even luxury watch makers – May 29, 2013
Swatch CEO on Apple iWatch potential: ‘Personally, I don’t believe it’s the next revolution’ – March 6, 2013

55 Comments

        1. Ahh, but an iPhone only link to Apple Watch gives even more reason for Android users to switch to Apple.

          You know Apple has researched and tested this marketing strategy in fine detail. I trust their decision.

        2. How quaint to hear this sort of comment once again about how stupid Apple is for not opening up its Eco system in this or that way blah blah blah. Strangely in its pomp in the 80s and 90s you could (and many did) find evidence to support that misguided view but to offer it up now when nearly all the evidence supports the policy to the point that even Microsoft and SAMSUNG are trying to mimic it goes beyond any rational thinking. More to the point perhaps how would Apple actually open their watch up to Android users when do much of its capabilities 1) offers unique capabilities that gives it an advantage but most obviously works the way it goes because of the unique support infrastructure that makes it work securely and reliably the most obvious of which will be Apple Pay but also includes its health and various other services and protocols. Trying to make them work with other phones would be an expensive nightmare that would offer little to any advantage to Apple.

          1. How stupid was it for Apple to port iTunes, Quicktime, Bonjour and iCloud to Windows so the iPod, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV to work with Windows? I’m not saying port OS X to Windows or iOS to Android, I’m saying give Android users a taste of what they’re missing.

            It worked before.

            1. It’s a completely different thing.

              The functionality of iTunes is in ITUNES.
              A lot of the functionality of the watch is in the iPhone you also have.

              Trying to make the watch work with all the incompatible versions of Androcrap and its various clunky programs would be a ridiculous task.

            2. How stupid it would be for Apple to rely upon security [not] baked into Android while adding Pay to an Android phone. Not to mention Android has crap for a fingerprint scanner, no 64 bit processor to speed up the transaction process, and about as much malware as Windows which loves nothing more than to steal ID info.

            3. So leave it out. Continuity doesn’t work on the PC but PC users make up the majority of iDevice users, so not every feature of the Apple Watch needs to be ported, just enough to make it as useful as any other smart watch. Just leave enough to make it a viable alternative instead of a waste of money.

            4. So you want them to make a worse product just so they can make more money in the short run? Are you sure you’re invested in Apple? You might double-check that with your broker.

              (also, see my other post explaining why it’s not even a practical possibility right now)

            5. Who said anything about making a worse product? iDevices work best in an all Apple ecosystem yet Windows users continue to buy them, and then buy others and some eventually buy Macs.

              I gave my 3GS to friend when I upgraded to the 4S, he now has an iPhone 5, an iPad, an Apple TV and will probably be replacing his Windows 8 laptop with a Mac.

        3. So you are in it for the ROI. Well Tim says hit the road. Apple is in it for a great product.

          Maybe you would like Apple to charge WAY less so they can be the low cost leader?????

          1. Too bad the products aren’t so great any more. Soldered RAM, not one expansion slot in sight, no more quad core Mac Minis and buggy as hell OS releases. And it wouldn’t kill Apple if they charged a competitive price for their non-upgradable RAM.

    1. Say wha’? Don’t expect Tim Cook to call YOU for advice.

      You mean Android needs to be compatible with Apple Watch but that ain’t gonna happen either.

      Swatch might benefit or die depending on renewed interest in watches in general Hard to say at this point. Companies that go “head-to-head” with Apple usually don’t fare well. Certainly not in profits.

            1. Duh. But that’s not what you said. You didn’t even initially mention Windows. What you should have said is “Apple and Android watches should also be compatible with Windows.” Duh redux. Is it even worth mentioning? Better luck next time making clearer points kemo sabe.

            2. Does everything need to be spelled out? The iPod was a niche item until Apple ported iTunes to Windows and made the iPod Windows compatible. That caused a halo effect that wound up selling more Macs.

              If Apple sells the Apple Watch as an iPhone only accessory then it will be a niche product. If they port the software required to deal with the watch to Android then we’ll have the halo effect again, selling more iPhones and then selling more Macs.

              I’m just advocating enlarging the potential customer base to sell more Apple Watches and through the (tested and confirmed) halo effect, sell more iPhones and Macs.

              Apple will sell more stuff, Android and Microsoft less stuff and we’ll all be happy.

            3. Are you even reading the replies to your posts. As spy stated…

              “…offers unique capabilities that gives it an advantage but most obviously works the way it goes because of the unique support infrastructure that makes it work securely and reliably the most obvious of which will be Apple Pay but also includes its health and various other services and protocols. Trying to make them work with other phones would be an expensive nightmare that would offer little to any advantage to Apple.”

              Please read that and try to understand. He has spelled it out for you. Your proposal, besides any consideration of yet another “Apple should” is not anywhere close to viable.

            4. It hasn’t even been released yet. As far as we know, there’s Android software ready. Don’t forget. OS X was ready to run on x86 5 years before Apple kicked PPC to the side of the road.

            5. So now you’re talking about Android again having switched abruptly to Windows. What’s next? Compatibility with Blackberry? Everything needs to be “spelled out” enough to have a coherent statement. That’s all. Apple Watch will NEVER work with an Android phone BTW or any other phone. Surely you must know Apple better than this!

            6. I have to stop now. Halo effect worked once and it could work again. Hit me again in a couple years and we’ll compare notes. I’m tired of the one sidedness of this site. I posted that iDevices are compatible with Windows, a fact, and got down voted to one star. It’s really not worth arguing.

            7. Ridiculous. Part of why the Watch is effective is iOS, the security built into iOS, the 64 bit processing power, and the communications structure between Watch and iOS. NONE of that exists in Android, so compatibility would be horrific. Apple would have to develop an entirely different companion app, and developers would have to re-write or seriously modify their apps to work on Android.

              Better idea: Buy an iPhone if you want full functionality with an Watch.

            8. The Halo Effect you’re referring to was Apple selling more Macs because people bought iPods and iPhones. Making Watch compatible with Android doesn’t create an iPhone Halo Effect, it just makes it possible for people to use an Watch with their Android phone.

              The difference is using one computing platform (iPod/iOS) to drive switchers to another (OS X). Windows users soon discovered that there are far more advantages to using an iPhone with a Mac than with a Windows PC, so they switched. In this case, Apple wants people to buy an iPhone so they can use an Watch, not just buy an Watch. More people would likely return their Watch due to a lack of usability with an Android device than to switch to an iPhone, particularly if they are locked into a contract.

          1. I agree there is no impetus at all to give it non iPhone support at this stage far better to concentrate upon making it work seemlessly with Apple products. Only when the full effect of doing so and expanding the Apple Eco system and the product has moved to probably 3rd generation specs should any such expension be considered and only in ways that directly benefit Apple and its overall eco system f they can be established. The problem with Androiid is that Google rejects open standards for its own services where it can benefit itself so trying to make the watch work in that regard with android or windows phones with its limited power/software combination could be difficult technically but some functionality might be possible but only where it benefits Apples or at least open services not Googles.

      1. Android would have to change many things before Apple would consider making Watch compatible. Apple doesn’t need Android making inroads to Watch without making serious technical upgrades and financial concessions to Apple.

      1. Your sarcasm is misplaced. When Steve Jobs introduced FaceTime he announced they were giving away the code for free because they wanted FaceTime to become the de facto standard across all smart phone platforms.

    2. Every person is entitled to their opinion concerning what Apple should or should not do. As a stockholder I don’t want Apple to listen to me or anyone else when it comes to doing business. It is truly amazing how many individuals, newspapers and financial institutions stand in the shadow of Apple and shout up to them that they know how to do it better. The truth is, they don’t or Apple would have already hired them or bought them with the money Tim dropped getting out of his car that morning. If you are embarrassed by Apple not supporting Apple Pay for Android, then feel free to sell your shares and I’m sure they will find a good home.

    3. If anyone can compete with Apple here it’s Swatch. They’ve bedn making the coolest, hippest watches since forever. Their designs are fantastic: very Apple like… and they came before Apple.

      Swatch will have an upperhand because it’ll run likely on Android or at least be compatible with Windows…

      Frankly, Apple needs the competition. I think the Apple Watch will do well relative to the market, but companies like Swatch will definitely soak up a chunk of the market.

    4. Totally impractical. As brilliant as the watch is, in its current incarnation it’s not all that much more than a remote display for the phone. The OS on the iPhone does an enormous portion of the work. Third-party apps get very little input from the watch. There is an entire suite of APIs built into the OS to enable them. Android or any platform other than iOS can’t even be considered if and until the watch is much more self-sufficient. That’s going to take several generations to achieve. And by then Android may well be considerably less important than it is now.

  1. I owned a small amount of Fossil (watch) shares and sold them last year knowing that Apple is coming.

    The traditional watch in Apple’s main price range (300-500 bucks ) is going to get hit. But I don’t pity the traditional watch industry that much as like the phone guys before iPhone they were sitting on billions of dollars of profit for years without innovating much (the Swiss watch industry alone is a 20 billion revenue a year business and many watch makers are owned by bigger fashion houses which make even more money with absurd high profit margins ).

    A lot of these watch and fashion guys have been spending their times attending parties in Monte Carlo etc, one of them had like 5 mansions and more lux apartments around the world (they remind me of the RIM blackberry CEOs who were partying and shopping for hockey teams while Apple was building the iPhone in the lab). Meanwhile Tim Cook doesn’t take vacations (according to Apple filings for vacation pay)

    The traditional watch guys instead of investing and innovating for the future were sitting on their butts like the traditional phone guys thinking they are invulnerable.

    Who knows maybe in years to come Apple will hit the fashion industry even harder, intelligent jackets that change colour and pattern?

  2. Right: Rush into competition with the Watch without sufficient R&D or even the release of the Watch. We heard of such misguided hype a couple months back as well from one of the luxury watch makers.

    All I can say is: Competition is great for business! Just make sure you’re actually ready to compete. If you’re not… (hello Amazon ad nauseam…) UH OH! 😯

  3. I think the SWatch group do a lot more than just the cheap plastic fashion watches. However, my kids have never worn a watch – they are the ipod/phone/pad generation and that always has the time shown every time you touch it.

    The present watch industry is therefore about show, fashion, prestige etc. And of course its ripe to be blown apart.

    So, will Swatch produce a time piece with a screen or just add a window to a pair of mechancal arms? Either way they will miss the mark by a mile. Apple I believe is going to offer a DIFFERENT reason to wear something on your arm ( again or for the first time – in the case of my kids ). For the ‘old farts’ like me it will focus on health and for the younger generation it will be about messaging etc.

    From a standing start it will take 3 yrs and Swatch have probably known its coming for about a year and prior comments have been about protecting current sales whilst they rush to catch up – if the can.

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