Internally I am quite excited that Apple's iWatch is realistically coming by Christmas 2014. That's my conservative estimate. But I can wait it out till mid 2015, no prolemo.
But as I have stated before in Technology Speculation, and in fact; particularly Apple Speculation is a long frustrating road I refuse to join.
The facts of the Fitness Watch or Health tracker market in mid 2014
- A whole slew of Sports Watches and Fitness trackers now exist
- Sports Watches look too Specialised for all day every day wear
- [NB:Smart Watches typically don't integrate sporting function, tell the time in an ugly way, and usually message you something on a minuscule screen that something just happened on your Smartphone.]
- Back to Sport Watches and trackers ....
- They are neither comprehensive nor easy to use
- With care, dedication, quite a lot of money, and lots of battery recharging you can today rig up a working system
- Marcus uses TomTom Multisport (Watch) + Mio Link (Heart Rate) + Withings Pulse (activity) + Nexus 5 (runkeeper) + Withings (Blood Pressure/ Fat Monitor). As you can see a slew of products which with some degree of difficultly can usually talk to each other.
- Agata uses mostly Garmin with some Withings.
- But your results end up on different Websites, a simple comprehensive view eludes us
- Some companies like Garmin are bizarrely going closed/ walled garden. This refers
I certainly give Apple the credit for some years ago transforming the Smartphone Industry. Apple more than Google with its innovative iPhone, reliable, capable, /it just works/ strategy set the stage that the whole industry including Google have followed.
Now shortly I would expect Apple to march into the Smartwatch market.
- Sports Watch manufacturers and Fitness tracker manufacturers must be crapping themselves! Two words: Remember Nokia. From dominant giant, to bought out, skinned alive manufacturer, now running with somebody else's OS. Oh the tragedy.
Some of the Vendor Foundations Already Laid
- Apple starts a set of Fitness related promos
- Apple Healthkit: Developer Page Healthkit Program Sample
- Google Fit
- Samsung SAMI
So what is the big picture?
Initially one or all three of the above will promise to work with established fitness manufacturers
Some fitness manufacturers will open up and participate
Immediate term: SmartWatch products will need a SmartPhone to operate. This is great business sense, you need to buy the Watch and the Phone for maximum function.
Fitness watches are safe short-term then. They can export data to Apple/Google/Samsung interfaces for collection and App based reporting.
Longer term, Google and Apple and Samsung will have consumer based SmartWatch hardware that will bypass/ ignore/ obsolete established fitness manufacturers offerings and operate as a complete substitute.
Sales (of say) an Apple iWatch or Google LG Watch with standalone functionality will explode at the expense of traditional brands
Apple (example) will no longer need the fitness manufacturers and will /concentrate/ on their own hardware
Still the Fitness industry only has itself to blame
- Backbiting, not constructive competition between vendors
- Lack of support of Android platform in multiple cases
- Lack of Bluetooth LTE support
- High product fees or yearly subscription recurring charges for products and services
If Apple comes up with something only moderately decent I'll gladly trade in the sometimes [not well meaning] incumbent manufacturers who have had the marketplace all to themselves for over 5 years now.
Come on Apple [I can't believe I'm saying that!!]
TechCrunch: Multiple Sensors