Wow, the bad news in wearables just keeps on coming.
Take a look at what's happened over the past few weeks:
- Pebble is acquired by Fitbit at a price that does not even cover Pebble's outstanding liabilities.
- A recent Gartner report says consumers think wearables are useless and expensive.
- According to IDC's latest numbers, Apple Watch sales are tanking. In a rare move, Tim Cook writes Reuters to tell the world the sky's not falling.
- Fitbit continues to fail to impress and its stock has taken a huge beating, some wonder how long the company will survive as an independent entity.
- Microsoft and Motorola both say wearables aren't worth it (at least for now).
Based on what I've been seeing (and I closely analyze this market daily), there's plenty of evidence indicating that wearables are not at death's door.
The big problem right now with wearables (especially in the consumer market) is that people just can't figure out what to do with them.
When there's a clear use case for a wearable device, people will buy, which is why plain vanilla fitness bands continue to sell well.
- Smart glasses (like the much maligned Google Glass) are finding a home in the health enterprise (because they're useful)
- Garmin has turned around its business by selling wearables to customers in niche markets like athletics, and to kids (because they're useful)
- Fossil has struck some gold in selling fashion-forward wearables to people who want a smart watch, but don't want to look like techies (because they're useful, from a fashion perspective)
- Clinical grade wearables are doing well in pharma research because they deliver vital data (they're useful)
Manufacturers just have to make wearables that are ... well ... useful to large numbers of consumers.
Don't worry, they're coming.
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