How many smartwatches have you seen in public? Not counting the relentless marketing campaign from Samsung for their Galaxy Gear, I think my tally is at three, maybe four.
To put this in perspective I’ve seen 10 times as many Google Glass…or is it Glasses…and the unfortunate glassholes that accompany them. This for a device that costs 10 times as much and is 10 times as unattractive.
Are smartwatches too early for their time, or is this an indicator of the size of the actual smartwatch market?
Pitching a Smartwatch is a Tough Sell
Here’s the deal. There are plenty of objections to smartwatches. And they’re not too far off base either:
- I already have a normal watch and a phone. Why do I need a smartwatch?
- Or the opposite…I don’t wear a watch now and get by fine. So remind me why I need a smartwatch?
- Or, a watch is a pierce of jewelry, not a piece of technology, and this watch is nowhere near as stylish as my pricey Rolex.
Trying to sell a different version of the same thing that people already own and are familiar with is hard. You have to convince customers that your product is better than their current status quo.
Would Health Bands Sell Better Than Smartwatches?
Let’s also consider this – how many Fitbits and Nike FuelBands have you seen? I see one on someone nearly every day.
Add to that the new-ish rumors that Apple’s new device, the supposed “iWatch”, will be very health and lifestyle focused.
So what if Apple doesn’t come out with a “watch”, as tech journalists are expecting them to do later this year.
Maybe Apple realizes it’s easier for them to sell something that people don’t already own. It may be easier to introduce a new product category (health bands) than trying to replace one that’s been around forever (watches).
Tim Cook told us that Apple will be introducing a new product category this year. It’s a good bet that it’ll be a wearable of some sort. But don’t be surprised if there’s no “iWatch”. Regardless of where you wear it and what it looks like, look for an “iLife” band to be announced at WWDC this year.