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Swatch Takes On Apple In China’s Wearables Market

The world’s largest watchmaker by revenue, Swatch, is attempting to develop the next big thing in wearables for the Chinese market. This places it squarely in competition with Apple, which has been working overtime lately to push its high-end smartwatch to the average Chinese consumer.

The Swatch Bellamy is the Swiss company’s answer to the smartwatch, though it is much simpler than other high-profile wearables entering the market today. The Bellamy does not connect to the Internet directly but does contain a chip that allows users to make payments, according to Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek.

To bring its watch to the people, Swatch has partnered up with China UnionPay — the monopoly holder on bank card payments in China — and Bank of Communications Co. — a state-run lender.

China may well shape up to be a hotbed of competition in the developing wearable war, as the country is one of the world’s largest watch markets by sales. Moreover, with a 580 yuan ($91) price tag, the simpler Swatch wearable is far more affordable than the alternative smartwatch (decked out with more features) on offer from Apple.

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