Patrick Pruniaux: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Apple just hired former TAG Heuer exec Patrick Pruniaux. Does this hire mean the long-awaited iWatch is finally coming out this year? Here’s what you need to know about Patrick Pruniaux, his new role at Apple, and how his hire might signal the impending arrival of the iWatch.

1. Patrick Pruniaux Was TAG Heuer’s VP of Sales

According to the Telegraph, Patrick Pruniaux was TAG Heuer’s Vice President of Sales before joining Apple. Some sources report that Pruniaux was headhunted by Apple, but Apple has not deigned to comment on those reports.

By adding an exec with luxury watch sales experience to their roster, Apple has fueled a fresh round of rumors about their hotly anticipated “iWatch” product. Nothing is clear at this point, but many tech insiders believe that signs point to an iWatch release later this year. TechCrunch has some interesting thoughts about Apple’s newest hire:

“Watch companies work in an odd market where demand for mid-level pieces is very fickle. A unique, desirable smart watch that works with iOS and is considered by some as a status symbol or a must-have accessory could tip the balance away from a quartz or mechanical piece.”

2. Patrick Pruniaux Was Educated in Europe

According to his LinkedIn profile, Patrick Pruniaux holds a degree in Marketing from Bordeaux Business School, as well as a MBA from HEC Paris & London Business School.

His LinkedIn profile also reveals that Pruniaux served as a First Lieutenant in the 11th Airborne Brigade in France.

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3. iWatch May Have Advanced Features

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iWatch rumors have been flying for years, and in that time a number of seemingly far-fetched rumors have appeared. Advanced features like UV sensors, heart attack detection, and curved glass displays have all been rumored at one time or another. With Pruniaux’s expertise in luxury brands, it is possible that some of these “pie in the sky” features could actually be available on the iWatch.

4. Patrick Pruniaux’s Job Title at Apple Unclear

Apple has officially hired Patrick Pruniaux, but it’s not clear what his role at Apple will be. Apple is keeping mum about Patrick Pruniaux’s job title, which is further fueling iWatch rumors.

Mac Observer writes that Pruniaux isn’t Apple only recent hire from the luxury world:

“There isn’t any word on exactly what Mr. Pruniaux will do at Apple, leading to speculation that he will be part of the company’s iWatch smartwatch team. With his retail experience, however, he could’ve also been hired to work with Angela Ahrendts as a top-level retail executive.

Ms. Ahrendts was previously the CEO of the fashion retailer Burberry, but was hired away to become Apple’s senior vice president of retail and online stores last October.”

5. Android Wear Smartwatches Will Challenge Apple’s iWatch

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Android Wear watches like the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live may have hit store shelves first, but that doesn’t mean that Apple won’t come from behind and dominate the smartwatch sphere with a superior product. In our comparison of Android Wear watches versus the iWatch, we wrote:

“Apple has a long history of doing certain types of products better than any other tech company. For example, Apple’s iPod knocked Microsoft’s Zune right out of the marketplace, and Apple continues to dominate the tablet marketplace with their iPad…

Ultimately, for most people, the choice between an Android Wear watch or an iWatch comes down to your personal tech ecosystem. If you already own an iPhone, chances are you’ll wait for an iWatch. If you own an Android phone, then owning an Android Wear-enabled watch like the LG G Watch or Moto 360 just makes sense.”