The business of wearable technology has received mixed opinions; critics saying it will just be a passing fad, potential users asking “what is the point when I already have a smartphone?” and industry insiders banking on its success. The truth is nobody knows for sure how popular new technology genres will be with consumers, but when all of the world’s biggest electronics companies start filling their baskets with eggs, it’s normally a sign that they’re onto something!
According to the IDC; Fitbit, Garmin and Xiaomi have been the most successful three wearable technology makers in the first quarter of 2015, with the Apple likely to penetrate the list when the figures from the second quarter emerge.
It’s not difficult to work out why Fitbit, Garmin and Xiaomi in the top three! Fitbit is the trendiest wearables brand, and they’re one of the companies that revolutionized wearable tech by making it appeal to every type of person, not just die-hard fitness goers and athletes. Garmin, considering they’re the world’s leading GPS company – plus their outdoor sports wearables are unparalleled. And finally Xiaomi whose wearbles are rather cheap, plus their market is mostly in Asia where over 4.3 billion people live.
So, what’s happening with Samsung? It’s quite surprising they’re not in the top three list, especially after the effort they’ve exerted on wearables so far – the Samsung Gear S, and Gear Fit for instance. Also, Samsung hold the number one spot for the most smartphone sales so far in 2015.
It seems that Samsung are keen to replicate their smartphone success with wearable technology, as according to Lux Research Samsung accounts for 4% of the 41,301 patents published on wearable electronics between 2010 to May 2015. Not far behind are Qualcomm with 3% of patents, then Apple with 2.2%. Developers that aren’t associated with the top 15 companies filing wearable technology patents make up the vast majority, at 77%.
Samsung’s interest in wearables isn’t much of a surprise, considering they were the first major player to release a smartwatch, being the Samsung Galaxy Gear in September 2013. Although the Galaxy Gear was the first smartwatch, it hasn’t been the most successful, that privilege is Apple’s after their debut smartwatch outsold all of the Android Wear smartwatches in the whole of 2014 within 48 hours of being released.
Talking of Android Wear, Samsung’s decision to use their own operating system, Tizen on their more recent wearables may just be one of the reasons they aren’t selling as many as they’d hope! Tizen is good, and getting better, but consumers are much more familiar with Android.
So, with the world’s number one smartphone maker pursuing the number one spot in wearables, there should be some interesting gadgets coming to a body part near you in the not so distant future!