Microsoft’s (MSFT) Old Partner ‘Swatch’ Denies Rumor It’s Partnering with Apple On iWatch

Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group has denied a report claiming it was collaborating with Apple (AAPL) on the company’s highly anticipated smartwatch, which many presume to be called ‘iWatch.’

Technology website VentureBeat said in a report on Wednesday that Cupertino was working with “at least one partner, Swatch” on a smartwatch project, citing a “source with knowledge of the situation.” That report also alleged that Apple was talking with multiple companies and that the deal with Swatch was apparently locked.

The Swatch Group, the largest watchmaker in the world, issued a statement to Reuters on Thursday to publicly say that while Swatch has supplied integrated circuits and other components to some mobile phone makers, claims of any collaboration between the two companies to create a line of smartwatches in different brands, styles, and prices are false.

While it’s true that Swatch partnered with Microsoft (MSFT) to create a smartwatch called ‘Paparazzi’ a decade ago, a platform which was later discontinued due to poor adoption consumer rates, VentureBeat’s article looked questionable if one considers the fact that Cupertino likes to control every aspect of the devices they make and doesn’t typically license its software to other manufacturers ; they do both the software and hardware as we have seen in the past with iPod, iPhone, Mac and iPad.

Signs that Apple is preparing the launch of an iWatch are increasing. The long-rumored device is expected to become a best-selling gadget with consumers, with investment firm UBS AG (UBS) saying that the iWatch could match initial sales of the iPad, with the iPhone maker selling 21 million iWatches in the first year alone, and 36 million iWatch units in the second year.

Rumors of an iWatch launch have been swirling for well over a year now. Apple, of course, hasn’t confirmed that’s the case, but nearly every report suggests the iOS8-operated device which will likely sport a curved organic light-emitting diode touchscreen, instead of the boxy designs seen on Samsung and LG’s wearable devices, will be introduced sometime this year.

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