As difficult as it may be, the world’s biggest watchmaker decided that it will launch a smartwatch on its own next summer, even though many claim that a collaboration with Apple would be a golden opportunity for both companies and the customers.
Swatch is better off on its own than collaborating with a company that works endlessly on a product that people might only be teased with next week. Since Apple’s iTime or iWatch will most probably be delayed for next year, while only being showcased at an event on September 9, the Swiss manufacturer has nothing to lose by announcing that it will launch a watch with smart features sometime next summer.
Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek stated in an interview at the company’s HQ in Biel that “All the big technology firms want to work with us and I don’t rule out that we are or could be collaborating in some areas. But we can also do many things on our own.”
Because the rumors surrounding Apple’s iTime smartwatch kept piling up this year, Swatch’s shares went south 15 percent. This prompted Bernstein analyst Mario Ortelli to say in a study last month that “For Swatch, this could mean a 2 percent hit to revenue and earnings before interest and tax for each 10 percent share that the iWatch was able to gain in its addressable market.”
Avi Greengart, research director at IT research firm Current Analysis, explained that the perfect wearable is yet to be made, and that the products currently available have all sorts of problems, from poor battery life to overall unreliability: “Nobody has hit on the right combination of problems a wearable should solve and convinced mainstream consumers.”
Hayek wanted to point out that it’s first the watch they’re interested in delivering, and then the smart features: “Our first message for customers is the watch. If they like it, they might also be interested in the extra functions. It is a problem if you only define a product by its technology. Technology alone doesn’t sell, not in watches. (Technology firms) that want to strike partnerships with us also want access to brands. They want (their products) to be more than a commodity.”
Let’s just hope that the Swatch Touch is the solution to most, if not all the problems that plague current wearables.
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