Every luxury watch advert sees svelte suits sliding over sapphire glass, mixed with human hands slotting together crafted mechanical pieces. It mixes high desires, lens flairs and tremendous feats of mechanical timekeeping. You know when your buy a high end watch you have something engineered and crafted by experts – how do you create the same appeal from resistors, chips and silicone?
Selling a smart watch anywhere around $200 is easy – it’s almost a throw away purchase against a smartphone costing anywhere up to $1000 now. To sell something more you have to engineer and create desire, something Apple is attempting to do by slapping a high price on the same tech sold for a fraction of the price. Relying on their own built luxury appeal to seal the deal.
Traditional watch manufactures have been rumoured to be taking a long look at the smartwatch market and weighing jumping in while the market is still growing. However if you don’t build software, how can you get into the market? Build on Android Wear that’s how – and that’s exactly what Tag Heuer is planning to do in the near future.
Apples And Androids
Googles Android Wear will be thankful for the push up the price range scale – since they’re typically being associated with smart watches resembling Casio watches more than executive timepieces. The hope will be that this will aid in a more upmarket adoption of Android, however quite the reverse will need to happen for Tag Heuer to sell more than a handful of watches – and that is it has to work with the iPhone.
Now that’s not to say that Android doesn’t have its appeal, but outside of a few very exclusive Vertu phones next to no one able to buy a luxury watch uses Android. Before the flaming starts, this isn’t opinion it’s backed up by stone cold facts and research. Apple and iOS is the choice for users in higher income areas worldwide.
When phone makers such as LG struggle to sell smart watches in the $300 region, how on earth can you expect to sell one that no doubt will retail in the thousands? It’s impossible to say who is keeping this wall between Android Wear and iOS – whether it’s Apple wanting a clear market or Google wanting to keep tight control as it does over the Wear OS itself.
Android Wear Now
We have seen iOS specific code starting to show up in Android Wear, along with unofficial integration with a little hackery. Rumours are rife we may finally see a cross platform performer. iOS integration with Google’s own Glass wearable not to mention Pebble integration works very well. To really steal the show from Apple, Google must integrate search and Google Now as it does with Android.
Google Now is arguably the best innovation from Google over recent years. Contextual alerts and awareness it what any wearable needs rather than just an extension of your phone. Now would be a major attraction to a higher end smartwatch – and a major selling point for Google services for business.
The task of making your own OS or adopting one that’s already built is a no brainer, and Google clearly could make it work if allowed to. However if Google is the stumbling block it may just have its arm twisted by Tag Heuer and any others looking to make the same move. With Apple already building up its bag of accouchements for WWDC could we see Google announce a high end watch that works on both OS? Let’s hope.
Featured Image Courtesy of DroidLife