Moto 360 launch = iWatch ahoy?

Could Motorola’s accelerated launch of the Moto 360 smartwatch be a clue that Apple really is planning to launch an iWatch next week?

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, after all, the Moto 360 has been “coming summer 2014” for a while. But rumors of the imminent arrival of an iWatch might have put some wind beneath the wings of the team at Moto.

Image courtesy Motorola

Overnight, we received a breathless email screaming: “Buy Moto 360 today! Plus more new products from Motorola”. We learned: “You are among a select few to receive advance notice. Moto 360 goes on sale today, Friday, September 5 at 11am CT. Quantities are limited so shop fast.”

The website has been updated and the only thing that’s missing (at least, until 11am CT) is the price, although it’s widely expected to be US $249.

One interesting piece of spin is the “all day battery” – a neat way of saying you need to charge it every day. In comparison to the Withings Activité, which promises a one-year battery run time, this is a major drawback.

However, the companies are targeting different ends of the smartwatch market:  The Moto 360 is aiming to move a lot of functionality to an on-wrist display, while the Activité goes the other way, using a smartphone to present the info.

Google Vs Apple
Apple’s arch-rival Google owns the smartwatch division of Motorola, which could explain a sudden urgency to secure Moto 360 orders ahead of an official Apple announcement next week …

That’s not all: Motorola is offering a bunch of sweeteners to capitalize on its early mover advantage ahead of any announcements next week from Apple. There’s “instant Motorola money” via special financing, free shipping (gee, thanks) and trade-ins on mobile phones in exchange for the new Moto G phone (the “plus” in the email blast) … although $240 to trade in an iPhone 5S isn’t really very tempting.

/WTW

4 Responses to Moto 360 launch = iWatch ahoy?

  1. Agreed. This was definitely a strategic move by Google/Motorola. We can’t wait to see what Apple comes up with next week. BTW, thanks for the heads-up on the Activité watch. That’s a very cool gadget!

  2. Reblogged this on smarterwatches and commented:
    The Moto 360 / Apple iWatch battle has just begun…

  3. […] On one side of the Great Smartwatch Divide of 2015 are the geeky digital variety, which will mostly need regular charging on the nightstand. The much-hyped Apple Watch falls into this category, along with offerings from Samsung, Sony, and the Moto 360. […]

  4. […] Elsewhere in the Smartwatch Group top 10, the biggest losers are smartband pioneer Jawbone and early crowd-funded smartwatch success story Pebble. Jawbone has seen its ranking slide down two places to 6th, but is still four places ahead of arch-rival Fitbit, while Pebble has fallen out of the top 10 completely, to place #13. Fast-growing Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi – which introduced the super-low priced Mi Band in September – is the highest-placed new entrant, ranked fourth and one place ahead of Motorola/Lenovo, makers of the Moto360. […]

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