If there was previously any doubt that Apple Inc. was working on the development of a fancy digital smartwatch that was rumored as the iWatch, then the latest news may just put an end to the whole speculation. This bit of news is simply adding a little more fuel to the fire of anticipation. Multiple sources have stated, including some very reliable ones, that Apple Inc. has been successful in poaching Patrick Pruniaux, the senior executive of Tag Heuer. Allegedly, Mr. Pruniaux has been with the firm for a number of years and was also the former vice president of sales and retail in the company. This Monday will be his last day in Tag Heuer and from then he will join Apple, in a still unknown capacity.
However, given his background, it is highly likely that the executive will be able to adjust in the sales and marketing efforts of Apple Inc. for its expected iWatch. Interestingly, it was also revealed by sources that Apple wished to snag even more people from Tag Heuer. However, Pruniaux is the only one who was willing to jump ship and work for the upcoming digital watch manufacturer. It is widely expected that the wrist-based efforts of the iPhone maker will eventually bear fruit in September or October of this year when the company will produce a tangible products.
Until then, the speculation of the device is instilling fear amongst the competitors because of one big unknown; how the American giant will merge technology and fashion in its smartwatch and how the latest hiring spree of the company from the fashion world will help it in making, marketing and selling the product. This doesn’t just include Pruniaux from Tag Heuer, but also Angela Ahrendts from Burberry who is the senior vice president of online and retail sales and former CEO of Yves Saint Laurent, Paul Deneve, who is working on special projects and reports to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO directly.
It is rumored that at the Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, the iWatch project is being led by Bob Mansfield, the senior vice president of technologies at Apple. He is being assisted by Kevin Lynch, the vice president of technology and James Foster, the senior director of engineering. The entire iWatch team also uses the expertise of a number of sensor, fitness and design engineering experts. This gives even more weight to the idea that the company’s wrist item will not just be a working fitness accessory, but will also be a luxury item.
Jean Claude Biver who works at LVMH, luxury goods conglomerate that also holds Tag Heuer, said that just like the company’s other products, the Apple iWatch will also have the same power and status symbol. He added that he believed the device could become a huge threat in the watch industry. He said that he was a bit flattered that Apple had chosen one of its employees to hire for the project and didn’t feel betrayed by the act of Pruniaux at all.