Denmark's GN Resound is banking on a hearing aid packed with bluetooth-like technology that lets users listen to calls and music from their iPhones as it seeks to steal a march on its rivals, its new chief executive told Reuters.
Anders Hedegaard laid out his plans for the company - the hearing aid business of GN Store Nord - for the first time since taking the helm on August 1 in a change of management that surprised investors and analysts.
After four years of cutting costs to boost operating margins, GN Resound now wants to grow faster than the global market, which grew about 4 percent last year in terms of sales.
"The restructuring is over and now it's innovation and growth that are the priorities," said Hedegaard.
The world's fourth-largest hearing aid maker, with a 16 percent market share, has worked with Apple Inc to develop the Resound Linx device that allows users to wirelessly transmit content from iPhones directly into their ear.
GN Resound hopes this will banish the stigma that many people feel when wearing an aid by linking it to a fashionable brand.
As the world's population ages, and lives longer, the industry has become fiercely competitive - and the company aims to gain an edge by appealing to the iPhone generation as it ages.
"We expect Linx to be the biggest driver behind our gaining market share for the rest of the year," Hedegaard said in a telephone interview. "The hearing aids industry is driven by products so it is important to develop devices which have advantages. We are very conscious about this."