Thursday, 13 April 2017

Huawei CEO Down On Smartwatches


Smartwatches have proven to be a difficult market for technology companies, with actual sales turning out to be much lower than the industry was expecting for the next 'big' thing.

Partly, that's because it's difficult to demonstrate real value for a smartwatch against a real watch or a fitness tracker. Even Apple has struggled and has had to add more fitness features to the Watch to try and drive sales.

Huawei's current CEO was reported as saying he saw no value in smartwatches - right at the time the company launched its latest Android Wear devices. Ten out of ten for honesty, zero out of ten for business savviness. If the company's sales and marketing people can't drive excitement for a product from their own management teams you have to question the logic of bringing it to market.

The smartwatch market feels like something which needs to have its iPhone moment. In the same way the smartphone market played to a small number of business email users and nerdy technology enthusiasts prior to the iPhone, and became the must have consumer product immediately after; the smartphone industry plays to a very small percentage of potential customers.

Adding features isn't really going to create the step change which makes a smartwatch as irresistible as a smartphone. The feature sets on Apple, Android and Samsung watches cover at least the 80% of usage one would expect a smartwatch to cover.

There just seems to be no demand for those features on the wrist, when the smartphone is just a pocket grab away.

When even those people charged with selling a product don't understand it and can't explain why you might need it, market growth is going to be slow.

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