With so many products available on the wearables market today, consumer perception is always changing. Looking to consumer reviews from last week, Argus Insights found that while Fitbit dominated in mindshare, less popular devices are truly delighting users. Will the Apple Watch be both popular and delightful? Only time will tell!
Fitbit products saw the most mindshare last week, but only the One and Zip gained high praise from consumers, while the brand’s only smartwatch, the Fitbit Surge, elicited a low delight score. Less popular devices saw higher delight scores, as the Microsoft Band pleased the few users who provided feedback, while more popular products from Jawbone continue to see high volumes of negative reviews.
Argus Insights is constantly tracking consumer perception of the wearables market at the product, brand, and attribute level. Keep an eye on this blog for updates on the launch of the Apple Watch, and sign up for our free newsletter to keep a weekly pulse on consumer interests in the wearables market.
It is no secret that the wearables market exploded in 2014. Brands like Fitibt and Garmin led the way with fitness trackers as the smartwatch market expanded with products by major manufacturers like Samsung, Motorola, and LG. In September, Apple announced the Apple Watch, a device many thought would validate the wearables market. Consumers held their breath for a while, as they waited to learn what Apple had to offer; but they quickly turned to other smartwatch brands over the holidays. Apple dropped their smartwatch announcement into a rapidly developing market that is not simply waiting around for Apple to confirm the legitimacy of wearable technology.
The smartwatch market is quickly becoming saturated. Smartphone manufacturers seem to be in a competition to fit as many features on the consumer’s wrist as possible, but user experience is being sacrificed in the furious pursuit of this goal. While a host of smartphone manufacturers turn out what can be described as mini wrist phones, companies like Pebble and Swatch are focused on including only the features that are essential to a small, wrist worn device. This strategy has proven successful for Pebble, as consumers continue to buy and review their smartwatches even with the looming release of the Apple Watch.
Perhaps the most shocking fact of consumer reaction to Pebble products in the wake of Apple’s wearables play is that their announcement of a new smartwatch, the Pebble Time, saw nearly the same amount of social buzz as the Apple Watch event in March.
There is no doubt that consumers will go crazy for the Apple Watch, but they have already proven interest in focused products. Pebble broke Kickstarter records with the announcement of the Pebble Time, and their stripped down approach to practical usage scenarios has paid off with consumer delight in the past. As time passes, wearable brands are pleasing the customers that are not waiting around to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on an Apple Watch.
Keep an eye on the Argus Insights blog for updates about the Apple Watch launch. Argus Insights will continue to track consumer perception of Apple, Pebble, and other brands in the wearables market. Please contact us for information about custom reporting, consultation, or access to our consumer data.
Swatch, a long time veteran of watch manufacturing, plans to compete with the Apple Watch by introducing a completely different type of smartwatch. Swatch plans to use Near Field Technology to enable users to make contactless mobile payments, but consumers should not expect “a mini mobile phone” for their wrist. Swatch will focus on individual tech features in specific models, to avoid encroaching on the product concept explored by so many smartphone manufacturers, like Samsung, Sony, and now Apple. Swatch announced this watch in the midst of Apple Watch fever, and managed to steal some social mindshare from some big wearables players that they consider to be their competition.
The lack of extraneous features on Swatch’s smartwatch will set it apart. They seem to be taking a page out of Pebble’s playbook as they focus not on accommodating every possible use case, but on optimizing proposed usage for a wrist worn device. With this shift in focus comes more limited, but tailored, features and the ever important, yet seemingly elusive, longer battery life. With a lower price point, long battery life, and capabilities, Swatch is looking to present a no frills, streamlined payment solution.
While Swatch’s smartwatch may be lacking the allure and prestige of the Apple Watch, it prevails in its esteemed focus and lack of patience for anything unnecessary. Consumers consistently complain about the usability of current smartwatches, and Swatch’s no-nonsense approach may be a giant leap toward closing that gap in user experience.
Argus Insights is constantly tracking consumer feedback in the Wearables, and several other, markets. Please contact us with any questions or to inquire about data access, custom & monthly reporting.
Argus Insights has been tracking all social conversation about Mobile World Congress, and is ready to reveal some of the most popular brands of the show. Our winners secured the most mindshare in their category, prompting continued engagement and conversation.
And the winner is…
With cloud related announcements ranging from an Industrial Cloud partnership with Intel to a Connected Traffic Cloud to introducing a Volvo cloud platform, Ericsson gave MWC followers a lot to talk about
HP was driving interest in NFV through their proof of concept with Orange, OpenNFV partnership with Telefonica, and targeted comments from their CEO about improving infrastructure with virtualization.
Though the smartphone giant was not actually present at the show, Apple dominated mindshare and the iPhone 6 was awarded ‘Best Mobile of the Year’ along with the LG G3
Huawei got people talking with the early announcement of the round, Android Wear enabled Huawei Watch.
For more details about why and how these brands won mindshare during the show, and an outline of overall trends plus winners and losers in several more categories, request a copy of our Mobile World Congress 2015 Report. Typically a $3,000 value, we are offering this report to our readers for free.
Gone are the days of fighting over the television remote. Now, you use your giant smartphone to keep up on emails while watching House of Cards on your tablet as your kids enjoy their own cartoons on Netflix or entertain themselves playing Temple Run on their own devices. The use of personal electronics for content consumption has taken off, and users are migrating away from large, communal televisions and small smartphones toward the happy middle ground of phablets and tablets to entertain themselves.
Large screens brought large mindshare for Apple smartphones and tablets
In the midst of this large screen, small device trend, Apple has stalled the production of their new iPad to produce a larger device. Their iPad sales have been suffering, and they plan to target the cooperate market with these larger devices. A 12.9 inch screen and alleged plans to add USB ports and an optional attachable mouse and/or keyboard are blurring the lines between tablet and laptop. A similar phenomenon occurred when Apple released the larger iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets. Sales of the big smartphones have “been cannibalizing…iPad sales.” Apple CEO, Tim Cook, has been quoted to say that this is a good problem to have, as the company is merely making competition for itself. 
Small & large Apple tablets see more consumer feedback than Samsung’s Pro Tab line
Apple smartphones are competing with Apple tablets, while those same tablets have the potential to compete with Apple laptops, but consumers are far more interested in Apple tablets than those made by Samsung. Big or small, Apple’s devices see more consumer reviews.
Although they are outshining the competition, Apple must compete with themselves as growing screen sizes shift usage expectations. With the introduction of their larger, more cooperate focused tablets, Apple is beginning a targeted, niche enterprise in which iPad users can easily crunch numbers on a spreadsheet and compose documents, or watch Netflix and play games.
Argus Insights will continue to track consumer engagement in the tablet and smartphone markets. Check back to hear more about the progression of user experience as it pertains to screen size and to follow the launch of new products. We monitor various consumer electronics markets as well as B2B infrastructure conversation. Please contact us with any questions or business inquiries.
Interested in who & what won mindshare during Mobile World Congress? Request a free copy of our Post MWC Report.