Apple Meets With Mexican Regulators Ahead of Smartwatch DebutPatricia Laya and Tim Higgins
Apple Inc. representatives met with Mexican regulators this month ahead of the debut of its smartwatches, indicating that the iPhone maker is stepping up efforts to make the new product available internationally.
Five executives from Apple, which hasn’t outlined its plans for an international rollout of the Apple Watch, met with Mexico’s Federal Telecommunications Institute President Gabriel Contreras and other commissioners on Feb. 11 to “discuss advances in health-care devices, according to an agenda published on the regulator’s website.
Apple has also faced questions from U.S. health officials about the smartwatch, which will be able to collect health data. The device, which is scheduled to start shipping in April, is part of Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook’s efforts to move the company’s devices further into people’s everyday lives.
A press official for the Mexican regulator, known as IFT, didn’t immediately respond to requests for more details on last week’s meeting. Amy Bessette, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
The Apple Watch and related software, such as HealthKit, collect and analyze personal data, such as a user’s pulse. Apple is under increasing regulatory scrutiny as it develops technologies that give its products greater access to personal information, including the Apple Pay mobile-payments system.
Apple has stepped up U.S. lobbying spending and has been meeting with more government agencies and departments. In December 2013, Apple executives met with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about medical devices and in 2014 sat down with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to demonstrate the Apple Watch and related health applications.
The Apple executives who met with the Mexican regulators included Afshad Mistri, a global health-care market manager, and Kalinda Raina, a senior manager for global privacy. Mexico is opening its telecommunications market to new entrants as laws passed last year remove barriers on foreign investment and enforce penalties on dominant operators.