VentureBeat is out with a new report this afternoon, claiming it has learned that Apple has partnered with Swatch to produce an entire line of ‘iWatch‘ devices. Apparently these devices are going to come in multiple styles, and at a variety of price points.
Citing sources familiar with the project, the outlet says that while the current consensus is that Apple is building one or two iWatches by itself, the firm may actually be preparing a variety of smartwatches with several partners from the watch industry…
VentureBeat’s Mark Sullivan has more:
Apple and its partners will offer a family of smartwatches to suit all tastes “from geek to chic,” our source says. The tech giant is interested in pushing its iOS, iTunes, and Health Kit ecosystems to millions of wrists, our source says; and in this case it’s not particular about sharing the branding glory to do so. […]
Our source also said “he would be shocked” if Apple weren’t also working with Timex on one or more smartwatches. Timex already has an Ironman brand of fitness watches, which might be very compatible with a fitness watch that contains multiple biometric sensors in the band, which Apple appears to be developing, as VentureBeat reported earlier.
It may seem strange that Apple would partner with Swatch, but it makes more sense looking at the bigger picture. The watch industry itself is centuries-old, and the Swatch Group is a heavyweight that operates 19 subsidiaries, including Rolex and Omega.
iWatch concept by Curved/labs
And despite the partnerships, Sullivan says Apple is working on at least one smartwatch that will bear only its brand. So what we could end up seeing is one iWatch, and several other smartwatches that utilize Apple’s tech and support its mobile devices.
Over the past several months, Apple has been seen hiring experts and executives from the medical field, and fashion industry to work on a wearable device, and it was just awarded a significant patent for it. It’s expected to reveal the project in October.