There's no doubt tech companies believe wearable devices are a
big part of the future of personal computing. Just ask
), who's spent untold research and development dollars on Glass, or
) with its
in rival Recon Instruments, the Canadian outfit that brought the
world's first Heads-Up Display to market.
a gaze-tracking and mood-detecting armband, and
(OTCMKTS:NINOY) is rumored to be mulling over a
Then, of course, there's the smartwatch. The clever gizmo that
plainclothes detective Dick Tracy first showed off in the newspaper
comics section nearly 70 years ago has now become a reality. Aside
from Kickstarter success story
) SmartWatch also made its debut (with a second-generation version
coming down the pike), and
(OTCMKTS:SSNLF) Galaxy Gear watch is currently in critics' hands.
But all along, it's been
) wrist-worn offering for which everyone is waiting with bated
breath -- or at least, since the company filed a patent for a
touchscreen wristband. Unfortunately, based on what we've seen thus
far from other prominent manufacturers -- coupled with tepid sales
projections -- we're left wondering if the iWatch is even worth
As previously mentioned, the reviews for the Galaxy Gear watch are
in. And they're not good.
This $300 companion piece for the newly announced Galaxy Note 3 and
Note 10.1 tablet -- available on
(T) networks -- is getting ripped for being all style, little
substance. "The next big thing is not here,"
ABC News. Wired gave it a four out of 10.
Perhaps the harshest comments about the Galaxy Gear watch came from
New York Times
"a human-interface train wreck. All of it. The software design,
user guide, English translations, and design consistency...Nobody
will buy this watch, and nobody should."
It's not a giant leap to predict that Gear's critical reception may
not bode well for Apple. Unless Cupertino has something
dramatically different up its sleeve with respect to functionality
and features, the iWatch is likely to get skewered just the same.
One particular sticking point from reviewers about Samsung's
wearable product came from its limited compatibility with only
Samsung-branded devices, and, given Apple's proprietary nature, the
iWatch is going to be very iOS-specific.
But the nail in the coffin (or, in this case, crib) for the iWatch
could be recent data gathered about its consumer demand. A team of
researchers, led by senior analyst Gene Munster at investment firm
polled 799 US customers
about their likelihood of buying an iWatch with a $350 price tag.
Twelve percent of respondents showed interest. However, assuming
most of them wouldn't actually follow through with a purchase when
it became available, Munster arrived with a more conservative
estimate that put iWatches on the wrists of a mere 2-4% of
consumers worldwide. As a revenue booster, Apple would be looking
at just a 1% increase in its bottom line.
After more than a few ho-hum entries in its recent product lines,
the iWatch simply doesn't seem to be the game changer Apple needs
in development right now.
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