In the heavily competitive market of watches, which are being ruled by smartwatches now, Swatch couldn’t lag more behind for a long time.
Swatch Group has planned a solo launch next year, keeping in the line with the competition from smartwatches. The new launch from the biggest watchmaker will have “smart” features to compete with the hi-tech wearable devices from tech biggies.
Swatch thinks smartwatches have come as an opportunity for them and not a threat and they will launch Swatch Touch next summer which might allow the user to count the number of steps taken or calories getting burnt. The coolest Swatch watch ever will also offer Bluetooth technology, as told by CEO Nick Hayek. Smartwatches have higher features like connecting to phones for checking emails, make calls, monitoring health and more. So they pose a potential threat to traditional watches but as Hayek said, “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.”
Several analysts too think that Swatch and Apple would make great partners in a smartwatch project but Swatch has never shown that kind of interest. Experts who are not very hopeful about the prospects of smartwatches say that if the technology is cheap and small enough, then it doesn’t satisfy customers fully. Avi Greengart, research director at IT research firm Current Analysis, said, “Nobody has hit on the right combination of problems a wearable should solve and convinced mainstream consumers.” Apart from smartwatches fitness bands are also a craze now. But as Hayek claimed, “They are selling like crazy in the US, but our Swatch and Tissot brands still have double-digit sales growth there. People wear the band on the other wrist and often take it off again after a few weeks.”