Small brands fight back as Apple Watch raises bar in wearable technology
San Francisco: The Apple Watch raised the bar for wearable technology when it launched in April, but smaller brands are seeking their own niche in the battle for wrist space. New kids on the block at Taiwan's Computex tech fair insisted that style and simplicity were more important than myriad features, in the face of Apple's intimidating offering.
Apple's iPhone-compatible smart watch enables wearers to answer calls, check emails and access apps without taking their phones out of their pockets. It also tracks fitness, plays music, offers customisable watch faces and comes in different colours and styles.
"Within consumer technology, smart watches are the biggest new category since tablets," said Daniel Matte, US-based analyst for research firm Canalys. Canalys has forecast 20 million Apple Watch shipments for 2015.
"Vendors other than Apple are improving their designs to be more fashionable and of higher quality, but the Apple Watch still has a significant design advantage," said Matte.
A host of smart watches are on the market from major players including Samsung, Sony, LG and Motorola, with Taiwan's Asus launching its new ZenWatch 2 Android Wear watch at Computex.