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Can Moto 360 bring a positive disruption in the Smartwatch market?

August 20, 2014 | About:
Riddhi Kharkia

Riddhi Kharkia

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Technology is a highly interesting field because of its gripping innovation stories especially when a mega trend is about to hit the industry. We are seeing a similar phase now with stories of wearable technology engulfing interested analysts and other enthusiasts. A good number of colossal tech companies like Google (GOOG) (GOOGL), Apple (AAPL), Samsung (SSNLF)and Sony (SNE)are already in the race to come out with simple, appealing and high-utility products. In this article, I intend to discuss the next hot trend in consumer electronics – i.e., smartwatches – and this is the best time to pen this article because Motorola’s Moto 360, the first round-face Android Wear smart watch, is poised to launch in the coming month, and we could see our first glimpse of Apple’s much-anticipated iWatch less than a week later at a planned media event on September 9.

Not the first one

Just to clear the air, it is not that these launches from Google and Apple are the first ones to hit the market. In fact, early smart watches like the Pebble and Samsung’s Galaxy Gear were considerably limited in their functionality, but with the introduction of Android Wear, a platform dedicated to moving wearable potential forward that’s backed by the internet giant Google, it’s easier and simpler for developers to also invest in the future of the form factor. Of course, this has been happening pretty slowly so far, thanks to the lukewarm reaction the public gave to the first two Wear watches – i.e., the Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch.

Here comes the one watch that might rule them all

Motorola is looking to change this perception towards smartwatches and earlier this year, Motorola revealed an impressive-looking smartwatch known as the Moto 360, and management is quite confident that it will take down all other smartwatches on the market right now. Now, the specs of Moto 360 leaked on Best Buy’s website over the weekend do not feature any surprising hardware changes from the existing products in the market.

Like the Gear Live, it appears that Moto 360 will have a heart rate monitor and be waterproof with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 covering the face. However, considering the past products released from Moto’s stable (Moto X in point) is a testimony to the fact that while the product may not bring ground-breaking changes in hardware, the strength of its software features seals the deal. For instance, the Moto X introduced functionalities like touchless control and the ability to detect when a user is driving and automatically read incoming texts aloud or start up some driving music which made it a mass favourite.

Since the watch is based on Google's Android Wear, there will be a level of familiarity with the device. For example, you can speak to it due to the Google Now function. Also, just like Google Now, the Moto 360 will show things that interest you and the important information you need at a glance.

Next, whenever you glance at your wrist, you will be greeted with the time. In other smartwatches, the time isn't displayed in such an intuitive manner if you're using another app. Also, the Moto 360 doesn't have a charging outlet. This indicates that the device will be charged wirelessly, absolving consumers of the hassle of having to connect it to a USB portal. The Moto 360 can also be worn on both hands, and it adjusts its orientation accordingly. In a nutshell, Moto 360 packs in a score of features and as per rumours, it might be priced approximately at $249 which is approximately $50 less than Samsung’s Galaxy Gear 2. Of course, we don't know about pricing yet but given Motorola's aggressive pricing history, as we've seen with smartphones, the Moto 360 should be priced competitively.

Takeaway

Though it is still early to make accurate predictions about Moto 360 yet the leaked data on Best Buy’s website definitely indicates a power packed device that will be priced competitively. Apple’s iWatch, which has been the subject of an aggressive rumor mill for the past year could be debuting soon after Moto 360 and if it does then it will surely impact the sales of Moto watch and in fact, the entire wearable industry.

About the author:

Riddhi Kharkia
A practicing Chartered Accountant based out of India. I have keen interest in analyzing tech stocks that are driven by value.

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