Apple is taking Swatch to court after the Swiss watchmaker used the slogan ‘Tick different’ to promote its NFC-enabled watch. Apple is arguing that the slogan unfairly trades on its own ‘Think different‘ campaign, while Swatch claims that the reference is purely coincidental.
‘Think different’ is arguably one of the most famous ad slogans in history, used by Apple from 1997 to 2002. It emerged from the one-minute ‘Crazy Ones’ commercial which featured a total of 17 people who changed the world by challenging the status quo …
Swatch seems to have acknowledged the difficulty of competing with the Apple Watch, announcing today that it would be focusing its smartwatch efforts on its low-cost plastic models before making a move into its more expensive brands. The WSJ notes that the Swatch Group owns Omega, Longines and Tissot.
Swatch Group AG on Thursday said it would focus its smartwatch technology on its plastic Swatch brand in response to devices launched by Apple Inc. and others before considering installing it in its pricier brands […]
The Swatch Bellamy, a version of its eponymous plastic Swatch watch that uses near-field communication technology, sells for €80 ($88) to €100.
This is hardly a smartwatch at all, comprising a dumb watch with an NFC payment chip embedded beneath the dial. The company plans to make further low-end smartwatch launches in the U.S., Brazil and Switzerland.
“We are not talking about competing with Apple,” said the colorful Mr. Hayek, who was dressed in a plaid shirt and scarf, occasionally donned a pair of Swatch sunglasses and puffed on a big cigar during the news conference. “They are consumer-electronics people and we don’t want to get into that sector.”
Swatch hasn’t exactly set out to make friends with Apple. It’s believed that the company’s trademarking of ‘iSwatch’ prevented Apple using iWatch as the name for the Apple Watch, and the company last year trademarked ‘One More Thing.’
Jony Ive’s year-ago prediction that the Swiss watch industry would be in trouble once the Apple Watch launched appears to have been correct (his actual language was said to have been stronger). Bloomberg reports that Swiss watch exports suffered their biggest slump in six years.
Shipments declined 12 percent to 2 billion Swiss francs ($2 billion), the Swiss customs office said in a statement Thursday. Adjusted for fewer working days, the drop was 7.6 percent. Exports to the U.S. dropped 12 percent.
“2015 has been one to forget for the watchmakers,” said Jon Cox, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux in Zurich.
The figures show that both higher- and lower-end brands are being hit hard, especially in the world’s biggest market for Swiss watches, Hong Kong … Expand Expanding Close
Swatch, apparently threatened by Apple’s recent forays into watchmaking, has taken another legal step seemingly aimed at tweaking Cupertino: registration of two “One More Thing” trademarks, a catch phrase famously associated with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote speeches. Expand Expanding Close
The Swiss watch market is bracing for the smartwatch movement, with many fearing another downturn for traditional mechanical timepieces much the same as when low cost Quartz movements were first introduced.
Industry players don’t intend to sit around and see how Apple Watch sells against traditional watches, however, as many of the watch world’s biggest luxury watchmakers— Tag Heuer, Breitling, Swatch, Frederique Constant—are showing off their first smart watches at Baselworld 2015 this week, the premier tradeshow for the jewelry industry where most Swiss watchmakers choose to unveil their latest creations each year.
A few on the list below were announced in the weeks leading up to Baselworld which officially starts today, but this week will be the first time anyone actually gets their hands on these new Swiss smartwatches that hope to compete with the Apple Watch. We’ll be updating this list as more luxury smart watches get unveiled in Basel, Switzerland. Expand Expanding Close
European department store chain Cora has chosen Apple Watch to grace the cover of its latest flyer this month hyping a February 14th date “subject to availability,” even though the Watch is on track to be released sometime in April, according to the latest from Apple CEO Tim Cook.
While we’ll have to wait and see who is more in the know on this matter (joking!), the September unveiling of the Apple Watch has spawned a new market of cheap knock offs and even promised competition from legacy watch industry insiders. Expand Expanding Close
While Swatch certainly won’t be partnering with Apple on the iPhone maker’s upcoming Watch despite an ill-fated rumor that surfaced last year, the watchmaker does plan to go toe-to-toe with Apple promising its own version of a smartwatch due out soon. Bloomberg reports that Swatch plans to bring its answer to the Apple Watch to market in the next 90 days.
The device will communicate via the Internet “without having to be charged,” Chief Executive Officer Nick Hayek said in an interview. The Swatch smartwatch will also let consumers make mobile payments and work with Windows and Android software, he said.
It’s unclear if Swatch intends for its own smartwatch to be compatible with iPhones like the Apple Watch or if the company is only targeting competing platforms, but Swatch CEO Nick Hayek’s claim that its Internet-connected watch won’t need to be charged will be interesting if the company does indeed deliver with functionality that competes with an Apple Watch. Expand Expanding Close
Update: Swatch has denied the claim, in a statement to Reuters.
A new rumor that popped up today from VentureBeat claims that Apple is working with Swatch and Timex to create different styles of its upcoming iWatch. The rumor puts Apple’s wearable plans in-line with Google’s: the Mountain View company makes the Android Wear software that powers hardware from a variety of vendors.
While it’s true that Swatch teamed up with Microsoft to create an ill-fated smart watch in 2004, it doesn’t seem likely that Apple is poised to join forces with any third party to create its own entry to this market. Here’s why…
Nick Hayek, CEO of Swiss watchmaker Swatch, said today during a press conference for the company’s annual results that he doesn’t see a smart watch product from Apple being the “next revolution.” We can’t help but be reminded of Palm CEO Ed Colligan’s comments before the iPhone hit:
“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” Ed Colligan apparently laughed about with John Markoff last Thursday morning. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”
Hayek’s main reasoning is difficulty delivering compelling content on such a small display, something the company has explored with its Paparazzi line of watches in collaboration with Microsoft:
“Personally, I don’t believe it’s the next revolution,” the chief of the largest Swiss watchmaker said at a press conference on annual results in Grenchen, Switzerland. “Replacing an iPhone with an interactive terminal on your wrist is difficult. You can’t have an immense display.”
Hayek also reasoned that consumers often buy watches as a piece of jewelry and like to change them on any given day. The CEO claimed that Swatch has had talks with Apple over the years regarding “materials for products and so-called energy harvesting technology that would generate energy from physical movement.” Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Apple had a team of over 100 product designers working on a wristwatch-like device and more recently said Apple would launch its watch product some time this year.