Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group today denied a recent report that it was working with Apple to develop a smartwatch product, reports Reuters. VentureBeat first reported this joint venture, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of Apple’s plans.
A spokeswoman for Swatch told Reuters that the Apple rumor was “unfounded,” adding that Swatch’s only relationship with mobile phone manufacturers is as a supplier of integrated circuits and other electronic components. Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek reiterated in an interview with Reuters that “he was not interested in teaming up with a tech group to develop a smartwatch.”
The original VentureBeat rumor claimed Swatch and possibly Timex would build a smartwatch based on Apple’s iWatch specifications. These third-party manufacturers would release their watches alongside Apple’s own iWatch, providing “a family of smart watches to suit all tastes “from geek to chic.”
This type of agreement would be unusual for Swatch, whose CEO has publicly expressed skepticism about the future success of the iWatch, saying he doesn’t believe “it’s the next revolution.” Earlier reports also indicate that Apple is working alone on the iWatch, hiring a variety of medical, fitness and fashion experts to help develop the wearable product.
Apple is rumored to unveil its wearable device later this year with reports indicating its will be available in different materials at various price points in order to appeal to a range of consumers. The smartband may have a fitness focus with sensors that measure vitals such oxygen saturation, hydration status and heart rate. This data may then be shared with iOS 8’s new Health app in order to generate a comprehensive health profile.
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