Monday, 19 May 2014

Why smart watch market share estimates remain meaningless hokum

According to market intelligence outfit Strategy Analytics, the smart watch market is exploding.

It reckons global shipments were up 250 percent year-on-year in Q1 2014 to over 700,000 units.

The key driver of this growth was Samsung, which shipped 500,000 units, taking an estimated 71 percent market share.

What tosh...

Whether the numbers are correct or not - and the fact these are units shipped not sold is a clue - it's pretty clear Samsung is not going to be the market leader on this sort of scale.

After all, back in 2013, rival market intelligence outfit Canalyst estimated that Samsung had a 54 percent market share but that was when it had shipped lots of Galaxy Gear smartphones, many of which were subsequently returned to retailers because it was a rubbish product.

But did Canalyst track those returns? Did it heck.

Of course, the more vital issue with Samsung smart watches is they only work with Samsung phones. Sure, that's a big market but it also demonstrates that Samsung doesn't get the potential of smart watches in the way that Pebble (which supports iOS and Android phone) does - and I'm not just saying that because I'm a Pebbler.

But, perhaps even more importantly, the smart watch market is so nascent at the moment that until we've had a couple of quarters of Android Wear hardware shipping (and more importantly being sold and worn by real people), there's little point even discussing market share percentages.

Still, if you have $6,999 burning a hole in your pocket, feel free to buy Strategy Analytics' no doubt awesome 6-page report

Monday, 12 May 2014

LG gets all operatic about its G Watch

LG seems to be very confident about its G Watch. It's one of the many smart watches that's built using Google's Android Wear wearables platform.

I'm not sure the music appeals to the target audience, though.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Power problems

While I'm excited by the idea of 24/7 wearables, my experience over the past year has not been great.

My Jawbone Up wasn't robust enough to last 3 months, while I lost my Fitbit One within a month. My Fitbit Flex has done better than both, but now requires some card to be jammed into its proprietary charging dock to charge.

What is it with wearable makers and proprietary charging docks/cables?

In other 'bad battery' news, I've been trying out the Moves smartphone software, which was recently purchased by Facebook.

It works okay, but is a total battery drain; it's usually the largest singler battery user on my Nexus 5 at around 30 percent, and - of course - I don't carry my phone with me much either, so it's not even tracking most of my movement.