TAG Heuer to give Apple smartwatch competition
According to consensus estimates, Apple is expected to sell more than 22 million units of its new smartwatch this year. That’s a pretty impressive figure when you consider fewer than five million smartwatches were sold worldwide in 2014. Those projections may need to be adjusted, however, now that Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer has announced plans to team with Google and Intel to launch an Android-based timepiece this year.
"Swiss watchmaking and Silicon Valley is a marriage of technological innovation with watchmaking credibility," said Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of TAG Heuer, in a statement.
TAG Heuer becomes the first watchmaker to enter the smartwatch category and with that should be able to negate whatever fashion advantage Apple will hold with its device. What remains to be seen is whether the company will be able to overcome Apple’s primary advantage — the number of apps people can use with their watches.
"By fusing beauty with technology, the Swiss watch has inspired generations of artists and engineers alike — including us at Google," said David Singleton, director of engineering for Android Wear. "So we’re thrilled to be working with TAG Heuer and Intel to bring a unique blend of emotion and innovation to the luxury market."
While TAG Heuer has made a splash with its smartwatch plans, it is not the only traditional watchmaker tinkering with the use of electronics in its timepieces. Breitling, Frederique Constant, Montblanc and Swatch have all incorporated technology such as fitness trackers and messaging devices into watches they created, according to Bloomberg News.
Gucci along with Will.I.Am of The Black Eyed Peas have also announced plans to launch a swatchwatch that, unlike Apple Watch, will not have to be tethered to a smartphone. Details about the device’s launch, pricing, etc. have not yet been disclosed.
- TAG Heuer, Google, and Intel Announce Swiss Smartwatch Collaboration – TAG Heuer
- Gucci Timepieces Partners With Will.I.Am For Wearable Technology – Gucci
- Pricey smartwatches: Google teams with TAG Heuer, Intel – USA Today
- Google, Intel, and TAG Heuer Team Up on Luxury Smartwatch – Bloomberg News
How will the entry of traditional watchmakers shape the future of the smartwatch market? Will consumers be influenced more by the devices’ aesthetics or technology?