Swatch CEO Doesn’t Believe An “iWatch” Can Replace The iPhone


While speaking at a press conference on annual results in Switzerland, Swatch CEO Nick Hayek said that a so-called Apple “iWatch” could never replace the iPhone, and that he doesn’t believe such a device would be the next smart device revolution, Bloomberg reports. The chief of the largest Swiss watchmaker added that replacing an iPhone with an interactive terminal on your wrist would require “an immense display”.

Swatch airtube 1 artlife

Hayek also pointed out that majority of watch consumers often buy the items as jewelry and often like to change them. Such behavior could represent an obstacle for Apple, as the physical style of any potential iWatch would not likely be readily changeable. He also revealed that Swatch has had contact with Apple over many years about materials for products and so-called energy harvesting technology that would generate energy from physical movement.

Swatch, which owns the Tissot and Omega brands, has explored ways of making watches with interactive functions for years, attempting to sell a watch that served as a mobile phone early last decade. It later formed a 2004 alliance with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) on Swatch Paparazzi watches, which allowed consumers to receive personalized information, including news, sports, weather, horoscopes and stock quotes.

The Swiss company said in 2011 it obtained a license to use alloys made by Liquidmetal Technologies Inc. (LQMT) in watches, gaining access to metal that’s moldable like plastic. Apple, based in Cupertino, California, also made a patent- licensing agreement with Liquidmetal.

Previous rumours have hinted that Apple has a team of over 100 product designers working on an “iWatch” that may perform some of the tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad.


  • I think a lot of people who don’t wear watches anymore would wear an full featured iwatch. A lot of sports enthusiasts would love it for gps/tracking apps, as well as music listening. Also my bet is that a lot of people who wear watches as fashion would certainly at first find the iwatch fashionable. I’d imagine a case market would develop to provide variety and you can bet Apple will change the look at least every two years.

    Can you tell I’d be an early adopter? I’d ditch my iphone for an iwatch if it provided the same features. And I’m already planning on ditching my iphone if I can, as the ipad has become my daily use gadget. So it would be a save for Apple, not a loss.

  • WatDaPhuck

    I think a watch will NEVER replace a phone. At least not until a certain breakthrough in micro-computing. Full featured? Can you imagine how big the watch needs to be for comfortable viewing? Not to mention the thickness of the watch would also be a problem. At least for myself, I know I would much rather look at the phone’s screen than stare at a watch looking like an idiot, trying to correct mistakes on a text with the smallest keyboard ever, and bump into people or possibly a car. Voice control might sound cool. But I’m pretty sure I’d laugh at other people talking to their watches to type a text, thinking “good bye privacy”. And obviously you would have to wear an ear piece to go with the watch, which it self can also be an inconvenience. If you have to put it on every time, might as well pull out your damn phone. While GPS/Tracking apps might be able to take advantage of a watch, ALL other apps would suffer from the small screen. Say “bye bye” to gaming on the watch. FACT: App Store makes the most profit from…. wait for it…. GAMES!

    Keep in mind that for the watch to be able to function like an iPhone would, the shape can ONLY be square or rectangular. And following Apple’s trend of simplicity, it would pretty much have a screen and nothing else. So how can it be fashionable? Case market? For a WATCH? HOW? As if the watch itself is not thick enough already that one would add more to it? I would think that the look CANNOT be change much due to technical issues bound to a small piece of hardware designed to fit on your wrist.

    I’m not here to bash at you or anything, but I wanted to point out the technical issues and unrealistic “possibilities” the RUMORED iWatch has. The world today is not ready for such a device.

  • Acer12345

    I highly doubt these “smart watches” will become the next greatest thing in our society. Atleast not in this decade. There are too many variables at play (which WatDaPhuck mentioned in his post), and besides…in this day and age (atleast to me) smart watches are as fashionable as the infamous suspenders (meaning they’re geeky haha).

  • hank

    i don’t think the iwatch was even conceptualized to “replace” the iphone. it would be more like working independently having limited features, or with more features when paired with an idevice.

  • kmlmzhr

    Apple: “Challenge accepted”

  • Anon

    No way I’ll be caught wearing some cheap watch on my wrist. Unlike phones, I treat watches like Jewelry. If it does launch, it won’t be replacing my $5K Rolex.

  • Anon

    Strap your iPhone to your wrist. There you go, insta-iWatch. LMAO!

  • Anon

    That would make it completely useless and redundant as I’ve mentioned before.

  • beavisaur

    so the fact that our phones give us the time and date now makes all of our current watches useless and redundant?

  • GrandMasterFlash

    What’s happening here is that when people hear the word watch, they fall into the train tracks of what a traditional watch is known to them to do. Tell time etc. Then a lot of people and this article try to look no further than that fact and come to conclusions. You must realize by now that there is a “zing” to what apple does. They try fill a ‘need’ in marketing terms. They also try to fill a ‘need’ that the users don’t already realize they need. This is why a lot of people have these aha moments when Apple reveals their products. And btw, what is sadly lacking with most of the devices we carry these days is a more sure fire method of letting us know of notifications…that is what I believe the watch will do. Swatch doesn’t have the ecosystem to allow them to realize that that is possible or valuable.

  • helluva66

    What model of Swatch is in the photo please

  • WatDaPhuck

    You, sir, are a genius!!

  • hank

    Redundant as it may seem, it still caters for the needs of some other people. Maybe the hip and cool people out there? So while it is a love it or hate it kind of device, there is still a market for it. Just like how we have bluetooth earpices and speakers paired to an iphone. You may look at it as redundant but there is a use for it. When driving, that redundant bluetooth earpiece is going to save me $167 fine