Not everyone is convinced that Apple’s iWatch would be a success, and you can add Swatch’s CEO, Nick Hayek, to the pile of detractors.
Hayek says that he doesn’t think the iWatch will be a revolutionary device, because your wrist can’t handle a display big enough to interact with. But despite Hayek’s aversion to the iWatch, Apple’s reached out to him over the years for help on materials and watch batteries.
During a recent press conference, Hayek said that Swatch has had contact with Apple over many years. Some of the things the two companies have discussed were materials for products as well as “energy harvesting technology that would generate energy from physical movement,” which sounds a lot like the ‘kinetic batteries’ a lot of watchmakers use today.
Even if Apple uses an e-ink display for the iWatch, a kinetic battery still won’t generate enough electricity to power the iWatch without the need for frequent recharging. So unless Apple’s engineers have invented a crazy new kinetic battery, you’ll probably have to recharge the iWatch every day, but it sounds like maybe they were trying to find a way around that.
Hayek didn’t say that Swatch has been working with Apple on the iWatch, but he thinks consumers probably won’t be interested in it if they can’t wear it like jewelry and change them.
Personally, I don’t believe it’s the next revolution. Replacing an iPhone with an interactive terminal on your wrist is difficult. You can’t have an immense display.
Swatch has tried to make their own watches with interactive functions for years but they’ve never really taken off. The company even formed an alliance with Microsoft in 2004 which allowed consumers to receive news, sports, weather, and stock quotes on their watches.
Recent rumors have claimed that Apple’s iWatch will debut in 2013, but battery issues are delaying the project. Apple wants the iWatch to hold a charge for 4-5 days, but current prototypes are only getting a few days charge max.