Last week there were rumors that Swatch might be partnering with Apple to work on its iWatch project. Swatch quickly denied the report, saying that the only business relationship Swatch has ever had with a mobile phone maker is to supply integrated circuits and other electronic components.
Now a new piece of the puzzle has emerged, with Swatch CEO Nick Hayek providing Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag with another reason why his company isn’t going to be helping Apple: because it’s making a smartwatch of its own.
According to Hayek, Swatch is looking to update its touchscreen-enabled Swatch Touch line with sensors and features aimed at athletes. The new watch is expected to hit shelves some time next year.
“We will integrate fitness features in the Swatch Touch by 2015,” Hayek says. “The device will remain a watch, but it will include commonly used fitness features to monitor your body.”
Referring to the reported deal with Apple, Hayek says that, “We already have all the know-how, we do not need a partnership.”
Anticipation for the as-yet-unnanounced iWatch is currently at boiling point. Earlier this month, Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty suggested that the device could achieve sales in the region of 30-60 million units in its first year on the market, thanks to the “halo effect” of brand loyalty to Apple.
The question for Swatch is whether the company planned this move into smartwatches all along, or whether it’s just jumping on the bandwagon now?