Wearables Week In Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

New smartwatches

CES saw the launch of three new smartwatches, two of which came from more traditional watch manufacturers. Leading the pack was Fossil, which launched a cellular-ready watch – the Gen 5 LTE. Skagen, which is owned by Fossil, launched a hybrid watch (not cellular), while Amazfit focused on the lower-end market with a sub $150 variation of its existing GTR 2 range.

The NPD Take:

  • The Fossil Gen 5 LTE is clearly the most interesting as it includes cellular connectivity, a market that we are seeing increase in importance despite a pandemic that is keeping us more at home. Interestingly, the new watch is billed as working with Android-only phones and Verizon only, which suggests that Verizon has the exclusive and should be pushing the watch in retail pretty soon. It also highlights the balancing act that carriers are taking when it comes to Apple Watch. There is very little reason why the Fossil cannot work with an iPhone, except that it could cannibalize Apple Watch sales perhaps.

It’s all in the wrist

The Mudra Band was probably the most interesting wearable at CES. It’s a watch band for the Apple Watch that enables gesture controls such as pinching two fingers together to “click”. As such, it provides an interesting alternative to voice control for smartwatches

The NPD Take:

  • This is one to keep an eye on as it could provide an interesting enhancement for many smartwatches. As such, we would see OEMs looking to license the technology or perhaps even acquire the company to bring that use case in-house.
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