Should a Smartwatch Be a Watch?

As Apple’s World Wide Developers’ Conference raises its curtain Monday (June 8) in San Francisco, we anticipate no suspense in this week’s news cycle:  It will be all about Apple.

I don’t mean to pile on, but think with me for a moment about what we’ve learned — if anything — about smartwatches since April, when Apple launched its Apple Watch online.

As I see it, Apple Watch’s contribution to the global electronics industry is the teachable moment it has offered on how to define a brand new product category.

I’m not saying that Apple Watch has nailed the smartwatch. Many consumers are still weighing its stylish design and clever interface against its one-day battery life and expensive price tag.

Compared to the cost and ingenuity needed to design the new version of a pre-determined product category, defining a whole new category from scratch is, obviously, much harder.

But Apple did it once with the smartphone, when iPhone pretty much established a standard that everyone else now mimics. The question is, can Apple do it again?

Traveling in China last month, I found many people – chip designers, system OEMs and industry analysts – in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing furiously debating over their own definitions of the smartwatch.

To read the rest of this article, visit EBN sister site EE Times.


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