Swatch To Launch Smartwatch In 2018: It May Not Run On Android Wear

20 March 2017, 9:04 am EDT By Amy Gordon Tech Times
Swatch is set to develop its own platform for wearable technology. It is being reported that the smartwatch will be launched in 2018 and will be an alternative to iOS and Android operating systems for wearable technology.  ( Ludovic Péron | Flickr )

Swatch is eyeing the wearable space and may launch its new smartwatch by 2018. In an interview, the company has revealed that it is going to dive into the smartwatch market soon.
Nick Hayek, the CEO of Swatch, spilled the beans on March 16 as reported by Bloomberg and has let on that the watch will be launched by Tissot. Moreover, the smartwatch will likely have its very own OS.

"Swatch Group AG said it's developing an alternative to the iOS and Android operating systems for smartwatches as Switzerland's largest maker of timepieces vies with Silicon Valley for control of consumers' wrists," reported the publication.

The upcoming smartwatch will also allow small objects and wearables to be connected to it. Hayek also shared that the new smartwatch will drain less battery and offer enhanced safety for data.

Why Now?

The decision from Swatch to foray into the wearable space seems surprising. The move is said to be fueled by increased competition.

The Swiss watchmaker is facing is trying to cope with growing expectations since 2015, when Apple entered the smartwatch space with its Apple Watch.

Since then, Hayek has been confronting a tough challenge to get an edge over Google and Apple. However, the strategy Hayek is applying is completely different from that which was used by Jean-Claude Biver chief of LVMH watch, who a few days ago revealed an advanced TAG Heuer smartwatch that was created in tandem with Intel and Google.

The competition in the smartwatch space has adversely affected the low-end timepieces. Hayek is continuously adding different electronic features into Swatch's own less-expensive brands such as Tissot. In March, Swatch announced that it has successfully developed world's smallest Bluetooth chip to be used in watches and other household items.

The approach from the company may be effective in the long term as it is looking to "think small." The CEO is of the belief that a possibility exists that wearables may develop into a consumer product. However, for this to occur, companies have to "miniaturize and have an independent operating system."

What Do Analysts Forecast?

Luca Solca, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas, is not convinced of Swatch's plan to build its own OS. She added that the expectations people have from smartwatches is that it will allow them to use the same apps, which they deploy on their phones or laptops. In this context, a proprietary OS does not fulfil the motive or expectation of the customer base.

Hayek has revealed that Swatch has already received plenty of request from many small-sized Silicon Valley companies to disseminate more information on its OS, as they prefer not to depend on Android or iOS.

Photo: Ludovic Péron | Flickr

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