TomTom: we're not entering the smartwatch war

TomTom: we're not entering the smart watch war
Raucher announced TomTom's GPS watch in Amsterdam this week

With TomTom's GPS watch now out in the open, there's been an understandable buzz about whether this is an early contender in the anticipated smart watch battle.

However, Gary Raucher, TomTom's global head of marketing, told TechRadar that the mapping company isn't looking to take on the likes of Apple and Microsoft, which are rumoured to be readying their own wrist-worn devices.

"We're not trying to compete in the smart watch arena in the sense that we want you to wear our watch every single day," he said. Instead, he said that TomTom wants users to see its GPS watch "as indispensable as your running shoes".

"It would be very easy for us to take this watch and cram it full of features and gizmos and all of these things, which would be great and would be a smart watch," he said.

"But would it give people a reason to choose a TomTom over another [smart watch]? Probably not."

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Raucher also told us that the Nike+ SportWatch GPS played a significant role in forming the new device. "We learned a lot through our partnership with Nike, which is continuing, not ending," he said.

As for whether there could be a conflict of interest with Apple using TomTom's mapping system in its own smart watch if it eventually appears, Raucher said that TomTom is eager to continue working with Cupertino, despite the disappointment of Apple's own map application in iOS 6.

"Apple's an important customer to us, there's a very close collaboration," he said. "Obviously like all of our customers we share information about our plans for the future and try to find the best ways for us to continue to collaborate."

As for pairing its Bluetooth-enabled watch with other third party wearable tech down the line, Raucher said that TomTom was open to the idea, even with Google Glass: "As long as it's adding value, and as long as it's helping people achieve their goals, absolutely."

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.