Apple iWatch October Release Date Hinted by Quanta; TAG Heuer Executive Hired for iWatch

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By Athena Yenko | July 7, 2014 1:57 PM EST

Taiwan-based Quanta Computer Inc was reportedly contracted by Apple Inc to assemble the iWatch for the scheduled worldwide launch in October. Apple has also hired TAG Heuer executive to give a "Swiss made" label to the iWatch.

REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
The Apple logo is pictured at a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014.

Quanta is said to have been working on trial production of the iWatch given a target of approximately 70 per cent of the targeted 50 million units for shipments in October, Taiwan-based news portal CENS reports.

The iWatch contract will be beneficial for Quanta's revenue growth especially now that its shipments for laptops and iPods parts to Apple were already diminishing.

The contract with Apple will also benefit other Taiwanese electronics supplier in the likes of Semiconductor Engineering Group (semiconductor testing and packaging), Richtek Technology Corp. (power management ICs), Kinsus Interconnect Technology Corp. (IC carriers), Career Technology (Mfg.) Co. (flexible printed circuits), Merry Electronics Co. (electro-acoustic components), TXC Corp. (quartz crystal products and clock control modules), and Royaltek Co. (GPS systems), the report said.

Meanwhile, Apple hired TAG Heuer sales director Patrick Pruniaux to give iWatch the "Swiss made" label.

The poaching was confirmed by Jean-Claude Biver, the Chairman of Hublot, a luxury watch Swiss company that operates LVMH's watch brands. LVMH owns TAG Heuer.

According to Biver, Pruniaux left TAG Heuer "to take a contract with Apple", CNBC reports.

"If it had been a direct competitor, I would have felt a bit betrayed, but if he goes to Apple I think it is a great experience for him," Biver said.

Senior luxury goods analyst at Bernstein, Mario Ortelli, said that Apple had numerous attempts of recruiting Swiss watchmakers since "Swiss made" is tantamount in quality watches.

Apple had a hard time recruiting Swiss executive because the Swiss believe that involvement with California-designed and China-produced devices will diminish the Swiss name, Ortelli said.

The iWatch is said to be only posing threat to low-end Swiss watches, while it will open opportunity for high-end watch brands as the young market will develop interest on watches that could transition to high-end brands.

Apple Inc has yet to confirm hiring or announce designation for Pruniaux.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Robert Galbraith / REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)
The Apple logo is pictured at a retail store in the Marina neighborhood in San Francisco, California April 23, 2014.
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