Swatch Group Ltd. (OTCMKTS:SWGAY) has denied reports that it was working with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to produce different styles of the iWatch, a highly rumored wearable technology product that is expected to launch this Fall.
The Swiss watchmaker issued a statement to Reuters on Thursday, explaining that the reports were baseless and that Swatch Group business partnerships with mobile device manufacturers only extended to the supply of electronic components such as integrated circuits.
Swatch Group’s denial follows a Wednesday report by Venturebeat where an unnamed source told the publication that Apple was working with the Swiss watchmaker on iWatches of different varieties and styles. The source cited by VentureBeat also claimed that Apple may have been working with other watch manufacturers such as Timex.
Yet, the report doesn’t line up with skeptical sentiments about the iWatch expressed by Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek in March 2013.
“Personally, I don’t believe it’s the next revolution,” Hayek said according to a Bloomberg report. “Replacing an iPhone with an interactive terminal on your wrist is difficult. You can’t have an immense display.”
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With fall 2014 fast approaching, the Cupertino, California tech titan continues to be inundated with a number of rumors concerning several expected products launches, including the iWatch. Among the chatter is a rumor that Apple is in the preparation stages for a mid-September keynote event launch of the 4.7-inch sapphire screen iPhone 6. The iWatch may be following close behind with another launch event rumored to be in the works for October.
While details have been relatively thin on the iWatch, a patent issued and published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday indicates that Apple may have had plans for the iWatch as early as 2011. The patent, titled “Wrist-Worn Electronic Device” refers to a product called “iTime, which includes several features such as feedback mechanisms, accelerometers and GPS modules.
The iWatch is also rumored to provide a number of health related features as Apple also plans to launch iOS 8 in the fall with its new HealthKit app and device platform.