Swatch will take on Google, Samsung and Apple when it launches its new smartwatch. Photograph: Sarah Lee
Watchmaker giant Swatch will release a smartwatch this year to compete with Google, Samsung and Apple.
Following rumours that the Swiss watch conglomerate was partnering with Apple on its Apple Watch, Swatch chief executive Nick Hayek revealed that the company will start selling a smartwatch within three months.
The Swatch smartwatch will go head-to-head with Samsung and Google’s existing smartwatch line, as well the new Apple’ smartwatch scheduled for launch in April.
“Swatch will launch a new generation of its Swatch smartwatch in the next two to three months. Functions will include communication, mobile payments at stores such as Migros and Coop, and applications that works with Windows and Android – without having to be charged,” Hayek said in a statement following the release of the company’s financials.
The Swatch smartwatch’s communications features are likely to include SMS display and smartphone notifications including incoming calls, similar to most other smartwatches available today.
The key difference, according to the Hayek, will be that the watch will not need to be charged. Apple has said its watch will need charging once a day. The best Android Wear watches from Sony and LG last under three days before needing to be charged, while the Pebble smartwatch lasts around five days per charge.
Swatch has a track record of designing watches with additional features, releasing its first touchscreen watch in 1999 under its Tissot brand, which now has watches packed various sensors for logging dives among other activities.
The Swiss company also has a stable of watch-related patents across batteries, watch mechanisms, displays, manufacturing and materials, which may aid it in competition with technology companies and traditional watch manufacturers.
Luxury watchmaker Montblanc launched a version of a smartwatch at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2015 watch trade show in Geneva in January called the e-Strap, which is a screen that attaches to a traditional analogue watch. Others including Timex and Fossil have partnered with technology companies to launch devices in the near future.
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