Consumer Products

Tag Heuer, Google and Intel to Challenge Apple Watch

Three companies against one. However, that one company is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer will release a watch powered by Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Android system and with Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) hardware. Tag Heuer’s trump card may be the success that Android has had against Apple’s iOS. Its challenge is the power and universal recognition of the Apple brand.

The companies announced:

TAG Heuer, Google, and Intel have announced a partnership to launch a Swiss smartwatch powered by Intel technology and Android Wear. The effort signifies a new era of collaboration between Swiss watchmakers and Silicon Valley, bringing together each company’s respective expertise in luxury watchmaking, software and hardware.

Also:

Together, these companies will create a product that is both luxurious, and seamlessly connected to its wearer’s daily life—a culmination of innovation, creativity and design from Silicon Valley in California and the Watch Valley in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.

The focus of the announcement was “wearable technology,” but the details about the plan were scarce. “Android Wear” allows users to communicate via text, use Google’s voice technology and utilize fitness measurements and other technology that can be downloaded from Google’s Play Store.

The drawback of the alliance as it prepares to compete with Apple Watch, which is the unstated but obvious plan of the three companies, is that Tag Heuer is one of dozens of Swiss watchmakers. It cannot be described as the most well-known. That award likely goes to Rolex, the maker of more expensive watches. The price point for Tag Heuer watches usually runs between $1,000 and $2,000, although some cost more than $5,000.

The lack of recognition of the Tag Heuer brand damages the alliance from the start. Although the watch will be powered by Google and Intel, it will not be the watch’s primary brand. Challenging Apple in the watch business may be possible, but it will take a larger company than Tag Heuer — one that has a global brand and nearly limitless marketing resources.

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