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Swatch CEO doesn't believe Apple's rumored 'iWatch' is next tech revolution

post #1 of 109
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Investors and tech observers are abuzz about the possibilities of a so-called Apple "iWatch," but the CEO of Swatch is skeptical about just how much such a device could replace Apple's iPhone, saying he doesn't believe such a device would be the next smart device revolution.

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Speaking at a press conference on annual results in Grenchen, Switzerland, Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek said that the primary difficulty in having a watch replace a smartphone would be display size.

"Personally, I don't believe it's the next revolution," the head of the largest Swiss watchmaker said, according to Bloomberg . "Replacing an iPhone with an interactive terminal on your wrist is difficult. You can't have an immense display."

Hayek also noted that watch consumers often buy the items as jewelry items and often like to change them. Such behavior could represent an obstacle for Apple, as the physical style of any potential iWatch would not likely be readily changeable, though the visual possibilities enabled by a flexible display could mitigate that problem to an extent.

Swatch has had dealings with both Apple and Microsoft, consulting with the former on energy-harvesting technology and with the latter on bringing more interactive features to Swatch's watches. Bloomberg notes that Swatch, like Apple, has licensed Liquidmetal Technologies' alloys for use potential products.

The rumored iWatch is believed to consist of a flexible display that would wrap around a user's wrist, displaying information from the user's iPhone. Apple is said to have a team of about 100 product designers working on the device.
post #2 of 109

Uh oh. Three words. Dell. Balsillie. Colligan. lol.gif

post #3 of 109
Who said that the watch would replace the phone? I don't recall reading that anywhere.
post #4 of 109

Echoes of Nokia CEO comments about rumors of an Apple phone. 

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post #5 of 109
The folks at Palm, Blackberry, Motorola, and others had similar thoughts when the iPhone released. 1wink.gif
post #6 of 109
This is a shock! The CEO of a business that could be in competition with a possible new product category from Apple says that the possible new product wouldn't be a big deal. Where have we heard that before?

While high end watch companies, for the most part, wouldn't be affected by an Apple product, Swatch, and other less expensive watch manufacturing companies would be, and he knows it.
post #7 of 109
if real, it wouldn't be designed to replace a phone, but to compliment it.
post #8 of 109
I doubt Apple would try to replace the iPhone with a watch. Instead, I would image the watch would interact with the phone through Bluetooth or wi-fi. For instance, showing notifications, and perhaps being able to answer or place a call via the watch. It would also be cool to be able to control the music features through a watch. Controlling the phones settings through a watch, might be interesting as well.

The watch would be similar to Google's Glass in that it is a supplement or attachment to a phone.
post #9 of 109

i haven't heard about Swatch in years.  Those guys are still around?

post #10 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by BadFlounder View Post

The folks at Palm, Blackberry, Motorola, and others had similar thoughts when the iPhone released. 1wink.gif

You forgot the CEO of Nintendo stating that smartphones were not a threat to their business.
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post #11 of 109
It would be an accessory.

Not everything needs to be a revolution.
post #12 of 109
This guy really doesn't get it. It's clear that he is so used to a business model where each new product cannibalizes their own market that he can't even fathom the concept of complimentary product lines. Perhaps this is why hearing the word "Swatch" creates a feeling of nostalgia without any corresponding desire to go buy one of their products.
post #13 of 109

Does this just make it a given that the watch is real and will be awesome?

post #14 of 109

Microsoft, Dell, Nokia told the same. And now, this  moron.  This fu(ktard is actually afraid. So, he is defending by vomiting out these idiotic words.

post #15 of 109
As soon we start hearing from people who "know" an industry comment on how Apple couldn't possibly make changes to said industry we can (historically speaking) be sure Apple is going to 1) enter that industry, 2) change that industry for the betterment of the consumer, and 3) dominate that industry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Who said that the watch would replace the phone? I don't recall reading that anywhere.

That's exactly what I was thinking.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #16 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by BadFlounder View Post

The folks at Palm, Blackberry, Motorola, and others had similar thoughts when the iPhone released. 1wink.gif

Exactly! Not that I am sure if this is true or not, but I was just going to comment that at least he didn't say something along the lines of 'We've been in the watch business a long time and we know what we are doing, Apple doesn't stand a chance ... " 1biggrin.gif
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post #17 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

i haven't heard about Swatch in years.  Those guys are still around?

Actually, I own a few. They still make a couple of cool, relatively inexpensive ones.

 

But their design capabilities seem to have significantly declined over the years.

 

(As an aside, people may not know this, but Swatch is, by far, the largest watch company in the world. They own a number of major luxury brands -- e.g., Omega, Blancpain, Breguet -- as well as high-end jewelry stores. They also have a chokehold on some critical watch components, as one of the biggest component suppliers to the industry. In other words, no one would be more threatened by Apple's entry into this market than Swatch).

post #18 of 109
An LG flexible display? Seems like there is a race with Samsung to be the first to release such a device.
post #19 of 109
Originally Posted by johnnyb0731 View Post
Does this just make it a given that the watch is real and will be awesome?

 

The same was said by TV executives over half a year ago. Still no television.

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post #20 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by aBeliefSystem View Post

An LG flexible display? Seems like there is a race with Samsung to be the first to release such a device.


No race. If this come to pass, Apple's implementation will not begin nor end with just the display.

post #21 of 109
At least AppleInsider stopped using that fake iWatch mock up photo.

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post #22 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by aBeliefSystem View Post

An LG flexible display? Seems like there is a race with Samsung to be the first to release such a device.

Apple doesn't race to release tech for the sake of being first. They go after markets where customers like a solid user experience. You can look at the smartphone and tablet markets to see how Apple dominated in record time with little advertising costs despite being years or decades late to the market. Not they've never advertised that their devices use Gorilla Glass but we know they do.

I suspect it will be the same for the Ive Strong bracelet*. Let Samsung race to market with an incomplete product whose only goal is to advertise a new tech.



* I really thought Ive Strong would have gained some traction.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #23 of 109

I thought Apple had an exclusive license to use Liquidmetal?  Or is that just within the phone market, or just for one particular alloy?

 

Otherwise, meh, he's hubristic, but who wouldn't be.  Easy with hindsight to name all those who fell foul in the past, but there's still no iWatch for sale and until there is, he's talking some sense; display size does seem to be a problem for any advanced functionality.  Maybe Apple will figure it out, but until they do it's just rumours in the wind.

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post #24 of 109

His basic mistake of course is in the assumption that a wrist based device would "replace" an iPhone, when pretty much no one has suggested it could. 

 

IMO all the swirling confusion about what this device may or may not be can be removed if you simply stop using the word "watch," and replace it with "bracelet." No one wants to do that of course because bracelet is a "girls word."  There seems to be no other word for wrist-based device of sufficient manliness than "watch."

post #25 of 109

*Clueless CEO SIREN*

post #26 of 109

Here's the thing....With the new Gorilla Glass that contours, maybe the watch will be more like a Dick Tracy watch. Not a boxy watch like the new Pebble. But one that is longer that goes up the arm. If you took just the screen of the iPhone 4, the watch wouldn't look clunky. I'd love to have my iphone on my wrist instead of in my pocket. And I believe that the new Gorilla Glass could make that happen.

post #27 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

I thought Apple had an exclusive license to use Liquidmetal?  Or is that just within the phone market, or just for one particular alloy? ...

 

When it was announced, it was said that Apple has a world-wide exclusive right on using LiquidMetal (the technology not a particular alloy) in "mobile devices."  I guess the key is whether a watch counts as a watch or a "mobile device."  

post #28 of 109
AAPL touting a watch as their next "innovative" product will be a flop. Watches are jewelry/non-essential.

What is essential is my iTV operating as my "all-things" communication & entertainment hub integrated with my vehicle interface, business terminal, etc.!!!

Who cares about a watch you can barely see? Swatch's CEO is correct on this one.

It will be interesting to watch AAPL from here. And all of their "several" interesting products come out...so far only product modification have shown up...nothing anyone, nor I "must"have at the moment. Certainly not a watch!
post #29 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

IMO all the swirling confusion about what this device may or may not be can be removed if you simply stop using the word "watch," and replace it with "bracelet." No one wants to do that of course because bracelet is a "girls word."  There seems to be no other word for wrist-based device of sufficient manliness than "watch."

What about band, loop, cord, or wrap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

When it was announced, it was said that Apple has a world-wide exclusive right on using LiquidMetal (the technology not a particular alloy) in "mobile devices."  I guess the key is whether a watch counts as a watch or a "mobile device."  
I would think so unless there is specific wording that would exclude that from their meaning of mobile device.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #30 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

IMO all the swirling confusion about what this device may or may not be can be removed if you simply stop using the word "watch," and replace it with "bracelet." No one wants to do that of course because bracelet is a "girls word."  There seems to be no other word for wrist-based device of sufficient manliness than "watch."

Manelet? Brolet? :)

post #31 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

IMO all the swirling confusion about what this device may or may not be can be removed if you simply stop using the word "watch," and replace it with "bracelet." No one wants to do that of course because bracelet is a "girls word."  

 

There seems to be no other word for wrist-based device of sufficient manliness than "watch."

 

Wrist guard?   Wrist band?  

 

Ah, I know.  How about something warrior-like:  the  "Amulet of Power!"

post #32 of 109

I think calling it a watch at all is limiting one's ability to understand how game-changing any wrist-worn apple device could be.

 

I don't pretend to know how great thing non-existent device will be, but even the anticipated iPad blew away everyone's expectations of capability, useability, and sales, just like the iPhone did. 

 

Apple is not thinking watch.  It's thinking "What can a device worn on your wrist do to change your life?" and how to implement those things in a package that is amazing to hold, wear, and use (and I wish I could do that myself).

post #33 of 109
I actually can't see success for iWatch if it doesn't replace the cell phone in your pocket. There is little point to the device otherwise.
post #34 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I actually can't see success for iWatch if it doesn't replace the cell phone in your pocket. There is little point to the device otherwise.

I have a very hard time convincing myself that people will spend more money on a wrist band device which syncs to their iPhone. I am sure there is a market but I just don't see it as significant. I am looking forward to seeing self important geeks parading around with a bluetooth ear piece, a wrist band, and a set of Glass 'glasses' to interact with the iPhone in their pocket.

 

I keep asking people to convince me but no one has succeeded yet. Again, Apple is all about simplifying 'the experience'... how will me wearing a wristband in addition to carrying my iPhone help?

post #35 of 109

Motorola's Sanjay Jha in 2007: "But is Apple ready for us?"

post #36 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

i haven't heard about Swatch in years.  Those guys are still around?

 

Actually, the Swatch Group is the largest watch company in the world - by a considerable margin. Even though the company is named after a cheap plastic quartz watch brand, most of their business is in high-end mechanical watches. Even their mid-priced brands like Tissot are increasingly moving to mechanical watches. 

 

Even if the iWatch comes out and sets the world on fire the Swatch Group is not going to be affected that much. The biggest impact of the iWatch is going to be on the mid-priced quartz watch brands like Seiko, Citizen, Fossil etc.

 

 - HCE

post #37 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Motorola's Sanjay Jha in 2007: "But is Apple ready for us?"

 

That was Ed Zander. Sanjay Jha became CEO of Motorola in 2008.

 

 - HCE

post #38 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I actually can't see success for iWatch if it doesn't replace the cell phone in your pocket. There is little point to the device otherwise.

I would agree that it might well work as a standalone phone (or wearalone phone), and also be able to act as an accessory to the thing in your pocket, if you can afford to carry both.

Whatever they do, though, I "see success," because these guys now really know what they're doing with hardware.
Edited by Flaneur - 3/6/13 at 9:47am
post #39 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by HCE View Post

Actually, the Swatch Group is the largest watch company in the world - by a considerable margin. Even though the company is named after a cheap plastic quartz watch brand, most of their business is in high-end mechanical watches. Even their mid-priced brands like Tissot are increasingly moving to mechanical watches. 

Even if the iWatch comes out and sets the world on fire the Swatch Group is not going to be affected that much. The biggest impact of the iWatch is going to be on the mid-priced quartz watch brands like Seiko, Citizen, Fossil etc.

 - HCE

Thanks for the good info but I disagree about the potential longterm affects of a wrist computer on the whole of the watch market. Convenience is a powerful opponent. If Swatch thinks they can keep doing what they've always done without adopting to culture and technological changes they could find themselves in the same position as many others whose names I've never heard of.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #40 of 109

I agree with some folks here.  what is key is to not call it a watch.  iBand, iWrist, what have you, but not iWatch.  People with luxury watches would never give them up for an iWatch.  Apple needs to go after the Nike Band, Jawbone, Fitbit market and kill it with a band that does all and better, plus more.  Something that can be worn next to a luxury watch.

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