Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Samsung Gear: Doomsday for Watch Brands?

Now I know how the Samsung Gear works.

Internet and Computing technology have brought many disruptive changes and transformed the way we live. Older technologies for which Digital Immigrants have nostalgic feelings are unknown to Digital Natives. Existing technologies are made obsolete while the new ones itself become irrelevant in a short period. So when Gear was launched, I wondered if we will witness any disruption?

Will Swatch, Rado, Rolex, Seiko, Citizen, Titan et al become obsolete? Or like how mobile phones have pushed Canon to exit the low end camera business, will watch brands be relevant only for a niche segment? Or will  it be the Gear and its likes become niche?

1. Watch is not a time machine: One thing that goes for the watch brand is that the device is not a functional piece that adorns our wrists. It is a symbol of status. Will mobile brands be able to crack that grip?

2. We have but one wrist: I know we have two wrists but watch goes to only one wrist. If the Gear and Watch have to co-exist, will we start wearing a device in each of our wrists? Will watch lose the race to Gear or will it maintain the hold on its citadel?

3. Gear is no replacement for a phone: If you have seen the video, you must have figured that the Gear doesn't do away with the actual phone. You still need the Note. If I can say, Gear is an extension of phone. Of course, Gear can exist on its own but it will be limited. So you will need to have two devices. I am already thinking of cost.

4. What does Gear offer?: Does Gear have anything substantial to offer? Does it solve any problem for us? Or does it make life easier for us? I believe that the Gear is largely for the Gatekeepers. Will it cross over to the main market, I am not sure.

But if the Gear does win the battle for our wrists, God save the Watch brands!

Imagine after 20 years, when the then Digital Natives look at a piece of today's watch in a museum, they will chuckle and wonder how the Digital Immigrants (that is today's Digital Natives) ever lived without a Gear! Will this happen? Only time will tell. 

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