New rumors of the iWatch suggest that Apple's once rumored smartwatch may not be built by Apple itself, but through established watch brands like Swatch and Timex. While earlier rumors posited that the iWatch would be an actual Apple-made product, much in the same manner that the iPhone is Apple's smartphone, the latest round of rumors may indicate that Apple may be creating a smartwatch platform, and if true this mean that Apple could give Android Wear some serious competition.
"Apple has been working with at least one partner, Swatch, to release a line of smartwatches in variety of branded styles and price points," Venture Beat reported citing a source "with knowledge of the situation," noting that they wouldn't surprised if Apple wasn't already in talks with watch brand Timex as well.
Rather than designing a one-size-fits-all watch, much like how the iPhone has been available in one design and one size for so long, the expansive effort could allow Apple to target different demographics simultaneously.
"Apple and its partners will offer a family of smartwatches to suit all tastes "from geek to chic," our source says," Venture Beat wrote, noting that fashion and personalization are key areas for the strategic partnerships.
This isn't unlike the strategy that rival Google is adopting for its smartwatch strategy, creating the Android Wear platform for partners such as HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung to create hardware for.
While this division of labor is a rather different approach than Apple's historic tight control over software and hardware, it shows that Apple is recognizing that wearables are extremely personable. And though the technology must be appealing enough to convince horologists to upgrade their watches to make them smart, smartwatches must also appeal to fashion-minded wearers as a personal statement that's always on their body.
Apple may carefully be crafting a luxury strategy internally as it preps for the "iWatch" launch. Most notably, it hired Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to head up retail while it poached away luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer's director of sales.
Yet, despite rumors of a partnership, the same publication confesses that Apple may still be designing its own iWatch with its own brand. This would surely be an interesting strategy as Apple would be competing against its partners but likely targeting different demographics.
What do you think of this latest rumor? Is there a plausibility that Apple will become more open with an iWatch platform? Given that the Swatch Group also owns brands like Omega and Rolex, the prospect of a luxury iWatch seems appealing. Are you excited for the iWatch as a platform? Or are you more excited to see how Apple designer Jony Ives crafts an iWatch?
Source: Venture Beat