Swatch Faces Google, Apple with Clock Operating System

(Bloomberg) – The Swatch Group said it is developing an alternative to the iOS and Android operating systems for smart watches as Switzerland’s biggest watch maker contends with Silicon Valley for consumer pulse control.

The company’s Tissot brand will launch a model near the end of 2018 that uses the Swiss manufacturing system, which will also be able to connect small objects and dressing gowns, Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said in an interview on Thursday .The technology will require less battery power and will better protect the data, he said later at a news conference according to chronologicalwatches.
The four-century watch industry in Switzerland has been adjusting to the new competition since Apple invaded its territory with Apple Watch in 2015. Hayek faces the difficult challenge of overcoming in technology Google and Apple, which have expired Possible rivals of their operating systems for smartphones and watches.Hayek’s strategy contrasts with that of the head of the LVMH watch division, Jean-Claude Biver, who earlier this week unveiled an update of the TAG Heuer smart watch developed by the brand in conjunction with Google and Intel.
Hours after Swatch’s announcement, Richemont said it is planning its first smart watch, the Montblanc Summit, which will be sold for $ 890 as of May, using Android 2.0 technology.
Competition from smart watches has been more damaging to cheaper watches and Hayek has been adding electronic features to the Swatch group’s most popular brands, such as Tissot and Swatch itself.This month, Swatch said it has developed the world’s smallest Bluetooth chip for use in watches and household objects.
Swatch’s approach will work better because the company is trying to “think small” and because one of the biggest problems with dressing gowns is battery consumption, Hayek said at Omega’s headquarters, another of 18 brands produced by Swatch in Biel, in Switzerland.
“There is a possibility that dressing gowns develop as consumer products, but you have to miniaturize and have an independent operating system,” said the CEO.
“I’m not convinced,” said Luca Solca, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas, who tracks the luxury sector.”People use smart watches expecting to use the same applications they have on their cell phones. A proprietary operating system defeats the object.”
Swatch is willing to offer its operating system to third parties, which was developed with the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology, a university specializing in miniaturization, said Hayek.The company has received about 100 requests for information, half of which are smaller Silicon Valley companies that do not want to be dependent on Android and iOS, he added.
Tissot, meanwhile, has not yet started selling its Smart Touch smart watch, according to François Thiébaud, head of the brand.He said last year that the solar-powered watch would be available in 2016 and that it would connect to Android and Apple smartphones.In addition, among other functions, it will display weather information and help the user find lost keys.
Swatch also projected a rebound in the US and European markets by publishing its annual report on Thursday.Hayek said that revenue could increase about 7 to 9 percent this year.