Wearable tech a.k.a wearables is a subset of electronic devices, that can worn as accessories, stitched into your clothing, implanted in your body or tattooed on your skin. And currently, there is a explosion in this division of technology. Wearable technology has come straight out of fictional bond movies and has become a reality for us. While there is abundance of content on how wearable tech works, why is it so popular and future of wearable tech, this time around, I wanted to cover why every tech giant wants a piece of this pie.
What makes this space so lucrative from a manufacturer’s standpoint? In Q4, 2020, Apple’s revenue from wearables was 12% of it’s total revenue ($7876mn in $64,698 mn). On a similar note, Samsung, Oppo, Mi, Realme and soon to join the party, OnePlus, are brutally gunning for their share in this space. Of course higher revenue is something they are targeting, but is there more to this story? Let’s speculate.
Eco System Lockdown:
This is one of the key reasons why everyone wants to sell a wearable tech. Once you purchase an Apple watch, set of Airpods etc., you have just locked yourself in the Apple ecosystem. My brother recently broke his iPhone 11. I instantly asked him to switch to Android this time around. But that would render his Airpods and Apple watch completely useless. Of course these devices may work with an Android device but the experience would not be even half as good. Seamless integrations, using all the features like ability to connect as soon as Airpods are pushed out of the box, checking out Messages/WhatsApp on your watch– All gone for a toss.
So, tech companies ensure that you remain their loyal customers and upgrade to the handsets manufactured by them only. Neat right? Next time you find someone boasting about the Apple watch, Airpods, iPhone, iPad all together, make sure you ask them, what if they ever want to switch. They’ll most probably say they wouldn’t, but ask them just for the fun of it.
Data is the new fuel. We all know this. Ever since the inception of social media, our behaviors are constantly being tracked on multiple platforms online. What if tech giants also gain access to the data related to your body vitals as well. That is highly personalized data. Even you may not be aware of this information. Wearables know your height, weight, age and medical history ever since you set them up for the first use. Later they come to know your heartbeat, blood oxygen levels, SPO2 levels, sleeping patterns and what not. Once a trend emerges, it is so convenient for them to reach out to a pharma giant and give them the top customers they can focus on.
Of course this data can also be used to develop robust healthcare systems but I don’t think that’s a priority right now. Similarly, mattress companies, fitness industry etc., all would be ready to shed away any amount for this type of targeted customer set.
And obviously a straight business benefit of venturing out in wearable space is diversification. If you follow tech news keenly, you may realize that from the past few years, new mobile phones hardly create a buzz. Those long queues to purchase the latest iPhone are a thing of past. Therefore it makes sense for tech manufacturers to enter a new avenue. Cellphone industry has cut throat competition any way. Price sensitive or luxury, high end phones, the entire spectrum is saturated at the moment. So they decide to fight it out in a different arena all together.
It is quite evident from the emerging trends that wearable tech industry is here to stay. With like of glasses, smart jewelry, smart gloves etc. I think we are just getting started indeed. Do you think of any other key reason why tech industry is fanatic about wearables? Let me know in the comments section below or you can hit me up on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If you find this article useful, please consider sharing it on social media using the links below.
Until next time. . .