Swatch Working on Apple Watch Competitor With Custom-Made OS and Better Battery Life

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Swatch is developing its own operating system for an all-new smartwatch intended to compete directly with Apple Watch and Android Wear, according to company CEO Nick Hayek (via Bloomberg). The new smartwatch will be an addition to the Tissot brand, a subsidiary of The Swatch Group, and is set to launch towards the end of 2018.

    With its debut so far out, details remain scarce on both the watch itself and the Swatch-made user interface, but Hayek mentioned that the technology will require less battery power and will "protect data better." According to Hayek, the company's strategy will give Swatch the chance to become a worthy competitor to Apple and Samsung wearables because of its focus on a beefy battery which wouldn't require users to charge the watch every day, or every other day, like Apple Watch.

    The already-announced Tissot Smart Touch compared to Apple Watch Series 2

    Luca Solca, an analyst who follows the luxury watch industry, pointed out that Swatch's own-made OS could be the company's first mistake. "People use smartwatches expecting to use the same apps they have on their mobiles," Solca explained. "A proprietary operating system defeats the object." Swatch said it is willing to give its OS to third parties for the creation of apps, and about half of the parties interested originate from small companies in Silicon Valley who "don't want to be dependent on Android and iOS."

    The Tissot brand is set to launch its first smartwatch (seen in the image above), called the Tissot Smart Touch. The watch was announced a year ago and was set to launch in 2016, but it never appeared for users to order. When it does, Smart Touch will be a solar-powered wearable able to connect to iOS and Android smartphones, and include abilities like leading users to lost keys.

    The Smart Touch will also include accessories like a standalone weather station that connects to the wearable and offers "hyper local weather information" like temperature, humidity, and air quality. With a debut so far out, it's unclear whether Swatch's new smartwatch will include any of the Smart Touch's features, or even what it might look like.

    Although some smart wearable companies, like Fitbit, are facing troubled waters in the market, Apple Watch has become a "magnificent success" for Apple thanks to a boost in holiday sales in 2016. If the Swatch smartwatch debuts in late 2018, it would likely enter the market as a competitor to the Apple Watch Series 4.

    Right now, rumors are understandably focused on the 2017 Apple Watch Series 3, with some suggesting the line's first major form factor change, and others theorizing that the wearable will see yet another iterative update this year with feature additions including cellular connectivity and the expected under-the-hood performance enhancements.

    Article Link: Swatch Working on Apple Watch Competitor With Custom-Made OS and Better Battery Life
  2. NT1440 macrumors G5


    May 18, 2008
    Yikes...good luck with iOS and Android compatibility 3-4 years after everyone has come out with a platform....
  3. dwaltwhit macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2013
    The apple watch's strength is the deep integration with iOS. I find it hard to believe that this will find any success. Competition is important, but I don't think these will even compete.
  4. 555gallardo macrumors regular


    Jan 16, 2016
  5. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    End of 2018... good luck against WatchOS 5 and the Apple Watch Series 4.
  6. Fzang macrumors 65816


    Jun 15, 2013
    Because we all know and love when companies decide to use homemade smart-TV software, so why would watches be any different?
  7. smacrumon macrumors 68030


    Jan 15, 2016
    Better battery life is required for Apple Watch. At the very least 7 days use. So annoying having to charge it or find it depleted.

    WatchOS isn't optimized.

    iOS 10 on my ipad seriously depletes battery life. Was perfect on iOS 7.

    The OS just isn't optimized.
  8. thisisnotmyname macrumors 68000


    Oct 22, 2014
    known but velocity indeterminate
    Which specific aspects of the OS are in need of further optimization? Or do you just have a simplistic model in your head of "I had to plug my device in sooner than I'd like to so the OS must need optimization?"
  9. Kabeyun macrumors 68020


    Mar 27, 2004
    Eastern USA
    I didn't even realize there were still Swatches. The 80s called, and they want their brand back.
  10. smacrumon macrumors 68030


    Jan 15, 2016
    Everything behind the scenes needs optimization.

    Updates to OS shouldn't result in decreased battery life.

    This needs to be fixed now before a camera is added to the watch.

    One week battery life, bring it now!

    Good software, good products, make up for the fact a user forgot to charge. That's the difference of a good package.

    Bring sensors to detect cardiac and heart issues. Bring preemptive features that detect health conditions. Turn Apple's glorified calculator watch into an actual smart watch instead of an annoying and nagging notification service.
  11. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    I'd love for this to be a big hit it's think it's a bit late now.
  12. Fall Under Cerulean Kites macrumors 6502

    Fall Under Cerulean Kites

    May 12, 2016
    You’ve never visited Berlin, have you? Land of Swatch, Guess, and probably Member’s Only.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 17, 2017 ---
    You mean, sWatchOS
  13. chr1s60 macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    Interesting to see another Swiss company going into the smart watch market. In the world of watch collectors, smart watches and making one, is generally seen as a negative. If nothing else, Swatch has the necessary money and resources to make something that works well. Whether or not that actually happens, is a different story.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 17, 2017 ---
    You do realize that the Swatch Group is massive and includes much more than just the Swatch brand, right?
  14. Fall Under Cerulean Kites macrumors 6502

    Fall Under Cerulean Kites

    May 12, 2016
    (Are you being serious? I can’t tell.)

    I have not one problem with my AW2’s battery life. Even yesterday, after wearing it for 17 hours (including running 14 miles), I still had over 40% battery life when I removed the watch and set it on my bedside charger.

    Only if the watch were tracking sleep, would it currently need longer battery life. And even then, I believe Apple would come up with a much better solution than having to wear a device on one’s wrist. I sleep with nothing on. I’m certainly not going to wear a watch to bed!
  15. cerote macrumors 6502a


    Mar 2, 2009
    You asked for better battery life but want things added that would lower it also. And the nagging notification serivce is pretty much a smart watch.

    What do you want out of your watch? Seriously. What defines a smart watch to you?
  16. tridley68 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2014
    Swatch Watches were the Bomb back in the 80's and 90's so many cool colors .
  17. pika2000 macrumors 603

    Jun 22, 2007
    Let them try and fail (and realize that making software is not easy).
    Smartwatch is pretty much Apple watch at this point. Android wear? Google is still figuring out what they can do (despite them starting before Apple), and who knows how long it would take for Android Wear 2.0 to be mainstream. Samsung has a better chance being no 2 with their watch version of Tizen at this point.
  18. roar08 macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2008
  19. djlythium macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2014
    Came here to post this. How could any CEO and Board approve such a direction in today's climate? 5 years ago, hell yes. But, nowadays?

    This is like taxi companies scrambling to create an app because they were myopic in their business model.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 17, 2017 ---
    At first, I thought the same thing. But working in charging to your daily routine (like we have to do with all of our other devices ) is actually pretty simple. With the Series 1, I consistently get two days on a single charge, which is damn good for the state of the tech, and the Watch's abilities.
  20. Return Zero macrumors 6502a

    Return Zero

    Oct 2, 2013
    Story of Apple's life summed up in that title:

    _____ Working on Apple _____ Competitor With Custom-Made _____ and Better _____
  21. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Apple should license WatchOS like it does with CarPlay. It would really put WatchOS at the top of the heap. But even still, AFAIC, the secret sauce for AW is ApplePay. That is what really separates it from any other smartwatch and why I'd never consider another. At the same time Apple has much work to do before I'd consider upgrading my AW series 0.
  22. Robert.Walter, Mar 17, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017

    Robert.Walter macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    As I've been writing in these and watch related forums these last few years since the Apple Watch 0 came out, wearables, the Apple Watch in particular would take IIRC 25% of the Watch market within 2 years. I've not gone back to look at the statistics but with the AW being the 2nd best selling brand after Rolex, the penetration must be significant.

    In the beginning, the AW was marketed high to so that it would offer aspirational qualities. The gold watches and link to fashion were part of this (the other part was to have something available for wealthy and stylish folks that might avoid a geeky plebeian aluminum or stainless wrist computer.). All this was to assure initial success in the Battle for the Wrist. This was about buzz building and it worked. The gold was retired. Now the ceramic is there for a tech and style crowd (think Rado).

    Now, By keeping mildly upgrading the performance of the original design and having it at a price point below the original design Apple has created access to the budget constrained end of the market (youth, businesses, insurance) by targeting other wearables.

    At the upper market end, Apple will continue to conquest the timepiece/jewelry segment and at the lower end it will bring the aforementioned budget customers into the market. This alone will continue erode the businesses of traditional watchmakers as well as the newer wearable firms.

    When you add into the mix the stickiness of Apple's h/w s/w Services ecosystem, the potential breadth and depth of penetration of the virtuous cycle opportunity standing before Apple (and the likelihood of vicious cycles against the watch/wearable manufacturers) is amazing and set to accelerate as more features and better performance come and things like IoT become more prevalent.

    Nick's attempts here, first the Bellamy and now this are about all a watchmaker can do, but I don't think what are pale competitors, on the tech content, will be enough to stem the tide. It's kind of like adding acetylene lamps onto your coaches even as the motorcar is increasing in popularity. Aping a specific functionality on an increasingly obsolete technical platform, can be no savior or growth avenue, it is a delaying tactic at best.

    Additionally, I don't think Nick's secondarily offered USP of security can move the needle against Apple; only a fool would claim that they might develop better security than Apple. It can only realistically be a dig against Android (because lousy Android security) but if a (normal person, not super anti-walled-garden technogeeks) person is really serious about security they probably are on iOS already and are unreachable or will grow unreachable as the AW matures and the iOS users buy their next wrist device.

    As a boy, I always wanted an Omega because Moon & Olympics... as an adult, I've had two nice Omega's but in a daily basis I wear my Apple Watch. ((What comes in the future when a kid today hears of a custom NASA Apple Watch on the ISS (acrylic crystal instead of glass) or the first manned SpaceX or BlueOrigin flight? Or hears the USOC is using the AW to improve training and augment data capture?))

    Many think that Swatch's 45% decline in profit was due to chinese macroeconomics, but I think the decline is more permanent. There may be a rebound of some kind, but that ball will bounce lower and lower each time as the customers become less accessible. Even Swatch's adapted application of Sloan's Ladder of Success will, due to externalities and limitations Swatch's own tech portfolio, begin to shed steps, making it harder and harder to get a young customer in the house and to retain that customer against the encroachment of smart watches.

    Watchmakers are going to have to contend with the collapse of their margins and markets as they are relegated to a niche of occasionally worn jewelry for people wanting to make a statement or who buy into the Patek Philippe "heirloom" marketing b.s.
  23. Urban Joe Suspended

    Mar 19, 2012
    There's always a place for something new and great...

    Smartwatches now are basically just: data collectors, notification beepers, fashion accessories/status-symbols.
    Apple watch is doing good enough on all those fronts to supply everybody interested in the current functionality.

    Ultimately, I believe smartwatches raison d'etre are as "vital necessities" in the IOT paradigm.
    With the way things are evolving a day will come when, just like a cell phone, life will be pretty inconvenient (and socially non-cooperative) to be without one.

    If Swatch can innovate on the basic existing functionality (data-notifications-fashion) &/or hardware in a compelling way then I look fwd to seeing what they have to offer. The idea of a more secure device sounds interesting.
  24. Robert.Walter macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    I'm wondering what's more secure than what Apple is already doing (not that there isn't room for improvement, there always is, but the AW has that tent pole pretty well covered and offers so much more.)

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