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Apple, Samsung, Google trying to court Swiss watchmakers

updated 12:16 pm EDT, Fri March 28, 2014

Swatch turning away partnership deals

Apple, Google, and Samsung are among the wearable tech developers trying to court help from Swiss watchmakers, says the Financial Times. One of the core targets has been Swatch, the world's biggest watchmaker. "We have been in discussions - not ever initiated by us - with practically all players in smart wearables up until today," says Swatch CEO Nick Hayek. "However, we see no reason why we should enter into any partnership agreement."

He comments that Swatch's priority is holding advantages over high-tech rivals such as ergonomics, longevity, and battery life. "Never forget, to make a smartwatch work you need two hands or voice recognition, which again needs a lot of power which is difficult in a very limited space," the executive adds.

Another target has been LVMH. Jean-Claude Biver, the president of LVMH's watches and jewelry division, has accused Apple of trying to poach workers from the company's Hublot brand, and from Swiss parts manufacturers. "Apple has contacted some of my employees - I saw the emails personally," Biver states. The people approached by Apple are said to have declined job offers.

Apple is believed to be working on the iWatch. Google has mainly been invested in the software side of watches, through Android Wear, but is still developing Google Glass, for which it has partnered with Ray-Ban sunglasses maker Luxottica. Samsung is one of the few companies to have actually shipped wearable electronics in the form of the Galaxy Gear and Gear 2.

by MacNN Staff



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