Nov 17, 2014

Apple Is Late to the Smartwatch Party

Apple and Samsung have been at it for years. Recently their grand battle seems to have deescalated as both sides dropped patent lawsuits in countries outside of the United States. They still claim that the other side is using their intellectual property but will be proving it in the public arena instead of civil court. Now the two giants are squaring off in the wearable technology wars. In September, Apple unveiled its Watch and Samsung already has five versions of its Gear. Which one is better may yet to be seen but with these two big players duking it out, we know that wearable tech is here to stay.

Apple Fever

The recent launch of the iPhone 6 paired with the new Watch wearable have made Apple common conversation for the technologically savvy. September 19th saw hordes of loyal Macheads lining up to get their newest addition to smartphones. The Apple Watch was unveiled at the same time to hopes that the official 2015 release will see a similar turnout. The Watch itself, running around $349, is a stylish piece of wearable tech that is iPhone 6 compatible. With the Watch, you can check Facebook, send messages and use a Siri style voice response control to navigate other simplified apps.

Legal and technical discussions aside, Apple has proven itself to be a marketing leader in technology. Their personal computer is number one in the market, iPods are synonymous with music players, and the previous version of the iPhone gained them one-quarter of worldwide smartphone market shares. Whatever the sales outcome, Apple’s marketing endeavors can only help the future of wearable tech.

First To Market

Apple has gotten a lot of flak by introducing functions that Android users have been using for a couple of years. The Samsung Galaxy S5 was released six months before the iPhone 6 with many of the same features that were hyped in the new Apple version. Likewise, the Apple Watch may be eclipsed by the fact that Samsung already has five versions of wearable tech in its Samsung Galaxy Gear line, all for a little more than half the price of the Apple Watch.

In a side-by-side comparison, Gear showed to be a little bigger than the Watch by about 15 mm. The common functionality is largely the same with social media and messaging on both devices. The aesthetics is one of the biggest differences with the Watch having an aluminum body compared to the plastic body of the Gear.

The Future of Wearable Tech

This new form of style technology has some heavy hitters in the arena. Add Google Glass to the mix and wearable technology looks like the new frontier in mobile devices. If we look at this from a marketing perspective, cultural shift with Samsung and Apple pumping money into advertising their products and Google actively soliciting novel uses for their device, this technology is up for grabs by the person with the best ideas. Medical engineers are already using it for physiological and psychological applications. Fashion designers are vying for ways to create a vision of the future that can be worn today. Wearable tech is not a climb to the top but a race to the edge of imagination.

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