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Swatch to launch Apple Watch competitor

Swiss watch maker Swatch has announced it will launch a smartwatch in April, going head-to-head against the Apple Watch.

The news follows early rumors that Swatch would work with Apple on the iWatch, a rumor that still has not been confirmed or denied by either party.

It is not the first time Swatch has tried to add fitness and health functionality to a watch. In 2011 the original Swatch Touch was launched to little fanfare, failing to win over any customers.

Swatch CEO Nick Hayek claims the new smartwatch will not need to be charged every night, potentially meaning a similar design to the Withings Activité with low energy NFC.

The companion app will be available on Android and Windows Phone. Surprisingly, Swatch will not offer an iOS app to track statistics, despite most smartwatch users owning an iPhone.

Swatch has been looking towards more smartwatches in the near future, after rather poor watch sales in the past few years. The watch maker will also reportedly be helping other mobile makers looking to invest in wearables.

"All the big technology firms want to work with us and I don't rule out that we are or could be collaborating in some areas," said Hayek. "But we can also do many things on our own."

It would be nice to see a big visual update on the Swatch Touch, considering the company has previously marketed it towards a younger audience.

If Swatch wants to compete against the Apple Watch, LG G Watch R, Moto 360 and Withings Activité, one thing it needs to make sure it offers is style.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.