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Swatch will go it alone in wearables market next year

Who needs Apple or Google?
Mon Sep 01 2014, 14:55
Swatch store

SWISS WATCHMAKER Swatch is working on its own smartwatch, according to reports, while also hinting that it will go it alone with no help from technology companies for the build.

Swatch CEO Nick Hayek told CNBC that he doesn't rule out the firm collaborating in some areas, but said that it won't need to partner with any technology firms to bring a wearable gadget to market.

"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," Hayek said.

The Swatch CEO also hinted that some of the features that the company is looking to add to its first wearable are that it could count the number of steps taken and calories burnt per day, as well as "a few other cool 'Swatchy' things on offer via latest Bluetooth technology".

If the rumours are true, Swatch isn't expected to launch its first smartwatch until at least the middle of next year. By then, perhaps it will be a little late for Swatch to enter the wearables market offering features that we will have seen from technology companies' devices for well over a year. Technology firms might have also brought newer, never before seen devices to market by then.

The watch firm will have to offer something remarkably different to drive interest from consumers in the wearables market, especially considering how saturated it is already and looks to become. And just a final point that Swatch doesn't exactly have the kudos of a Rolex. But aside from all that, we can't wait to see its first smartwatch.

Last week, both Samsung and LG launched new iterations of their smartwatches. LG's rather awkwardly named G Watch R is the Korean firm's second smartwatch, but it has a round face for a more traditional look than the original G Watch that the firm announced not too long ago in June.

Also on Thursday, rival Korean vendor Samsung revealed the Gear S, its next-generation smartwatch that can make and receive calls with its own 3G connection.

The Gear S is Samsung's first standalone smartwatch. Samsung said it will "deliver the most advanced wearable experience yet" by integrating 3G connectivity for the first time, since users don't have to rely on the internet connection of a smartphone linked to the watch via Bluetooth. µ


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