Swatch Group, the Swiss company, yesterday, announced plans to bring a product in the market to compete with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) smartwatch. The world’s largest watchmaker plans to launch a watch equipped with programmable chips to allow wearers make payments with a swipe of the wrist.
Claims to be the best
These watches are expected to be available in market in the next two months, according to CEO Nick Hayek, who while taking a jab at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), claims that his company is best in the world, when it comes to manufacturing watches integrated with smart functions.
The upcoming smartwatches by the Swatch Group will feature near-field communication (NFC) chips, which will cost them around $2 (2 francs) per watch. For this, Swatch has joined hands with China UnionPay (Chinese credit card association), a Swiss bank and a major credit card company. The card company described as Olympics sponsor, is most likely to be Visa.
Moreover, the Swiss company is also set to introduce a range of sports-themed “Swatch Touch” smartwatches, which could be paired up with a smartphone through a Bluetooth connection. Retailing at 135 francs, the first model of these type of watches would cost almost double of a normal Swatch watch fitted with NFC chips.
Different strategy from Apple
In addition, Hayek also suggested that his company is following a different strategy than Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The Swiss firm plans to design different models with individual tech features in contrast to Apple’s theme of all-in-one smartwatches linking various functions.
“We are the world champions of integrating smart functions into a watch,” Hayek said. “We don’t want to produce a mini mobile phone on your wrist. Others can do that.”
Expressing his views on the Apple Watch, Swatch CEO is optimistic about his company’s future, claiming that such a move by the world’s most valuable firm will aid in opening the market, especially in the US, where most of the population do not prefer watches anymore.
“Somebody is opening this up. Let Apple do the work. It’s fine. It’s good. I congratulate them,” the CEO said.
Apple Watch ranging from smaller model priced at $349, a standard version costing $549 and a high-end “Edition” worth at least $10,000 is expected to go on sale from April this year.