Giant watch vendor Swatch isn’t going to directly take on Apple in the smart watch market.
Instead it has what just might be a far more cunning plan.
According to CEO Nick Hayek, Swatch is going to start selling watches using inexpensive near field communication (NFC) chips, letting you make payments by just waving your wrist at the receiver.
Reuters said that Hayek’s view on Apple is that it is creating a new market for watches which it will be able to leverage. It won’t venture into what he described as having a mini mobile phone on your wrist.
Swatch hopes that people will buy Apple watches because lots of people don’t wear watches and if Apple succeeds in selling as many as it hopes, that will put it and other watch vendors in a stronger position.
Hayek is quoted as saying that Swatch is not in the business of upgrading software every year.
In any case, Swatch is going to introduce sort watches which will connect to Android phones and perform many of the functions of the Apple iWatch. You won’t have to pay hundreds or even thousands of US dollars for this functionality.
If Apple thinks it will have the smart watch market to itself, it had better think again. Traditional vendors of watches are on the march.
According to Reuters, the Swiss watch industry is preparing itself to parachute into the smart watch sector, following Apple’s announcement of a range of glitzy wrist watches earlier this week.
The report said that a number of big players in the watch business are quietly preparing to introduce smart watches – including Swatch, Guess, Richmond and LVMH. Richemonte owns the Montblanc brand.
Apparently, the companies believe that Apple may ignite the taste of youngsters for watches and they hope to make sales off the back of the rush of publicity the Apple iWatch has generated.
Swatch publicly confirmed in January that it was ready for the smart watch and its device won’t be tied just to the Apple iPhone but will support the Android operating system too.
And, perhaps crucially, it will have much longer battery life than Apple’s offering.
Guess, too, has far advanced plans for a smart watch.
Perhaps more crucially, the traditional timepiece manufacturers have long established routes to market and unparalleled distribution know how.
If Apple thinks
it will have its own way in the smart watch category this year, it had better think again.
Swatch is planning to introduce a smart watch in the next three months and it’s going to have some advantages over the Apple device.
According to Bloomberg
, the watch can communicate with the internet without needing to be charged, will work with Windows and Android and will let you make mobile payments.
Swatch has something of an advantage over Apple too in that it’s been in the market for decades and has had touch screens since the end of the 20th century.
It also knows its market and has distribution deals that Apple cannot possibly match.
Further, attempts by companies like Intel and Google to launch TV services haven’t exactly been the dish of the day.
While some analysts are predicting huge sales of smart watches, others are more sceptical. Young people, by and large, don’t tend to wear watches and use their smartphones for telling the time.
People need to be convinced that spending money on duplicate functions makes any sense at all.
Manufacturers on high tech island Taiwan are reporting that Apple’s iWatch is unlikely to see the light of day until 2015.
Speaking under terms of anonymity to Taiwanese wire Digitimes, the vendors say there’s still a way to go because components are still in their engineering verification stage and then has to undergo production verification testing.
And, more than that, vendors who make the components that go into the iWatch haven’t yet received firm orders from Apple.
Although Apple is holding one of its signature press conferences on September 9th, the company is unlikely to announce the iWatch then, Digitimes says.
Yesterday Swatch said it would enter the now rather competitive arena of wearable technology with a smart watch. The jury is still out whether the world and its dog actually wants to wear this kind of device, however.
Microsoft tried to introduce a smart watch in the 1990s but the idea went down like a lead balloon.