Wearables Week In Review

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Week In Review

Is glucose tracking next?

Chinese website ETnews claims Samsung has developed glucose monitoring sensors, developed in conjunction with MIT. More boldly, the website claims that a glucose monitoring feature will be a key part of the Galaxy Watch 4 Unpacked launch in the second half of 2021. Apple is also rumored to be working on a similar solution.

The NPD Take:

  • It’s a rumor with big implications. Of course, both companies are working on a solution: that’s almost a given as it’s the next health barrier to track and one that could tip potential owners to one ecosystem or another. But is such a solution ready yet? That’s a tougher call. Samsung has a track record of getting medical features on its watch first… bit only with approval in S. Korea. Apple, on the other hand, may launch the feature without FDA approval (like it did with ECG tracking) and then instigate clinical trials.
  • If Samsung and Apple do indeed add glucose tracking, it will further the divide between these two and other smartwatch vendors creating a very clear tiered solution. This is, in particular, a threat to Google both with its WearOS strategy and the Fitbit division.

OnePlus Watch edges closer

The OnePlus Watch has long been expected, and in later 2020 CEO Pete Lau confirmed that the company was working on a smartwatch. The watch appears to have passed through certification in India with two distinct model numbers, suggesting that there may be an LET option. The suspicion is that OnePlus will trial the device in India, before launching to a broader, global marketplace and it is expected to run on WearOS.

The NPD Take:

  • The smartwatch market is still dominated by Apple, Samsung and, to a lesser extent, Fitbit. However, if OnePlus does indeed launch an LTE version it could be well received by the US carriers.
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