Consumers have shown huge interest in the idea of a smart watch, but data shows that when a product actually comes on the market – it’s met with a tepid response. (by Appinions)
In the Smart Watch Industry Influence Study Appinions released in May, we looked at the amount of attention generated by a number of smart watch product announcements and rumors. Since then, several of those products have shipped, so let’s use this opportunity to check back in and see what kind of impact these watches are having on the market.
As of May 9th, the ‘Net Influence Score’ for the smart watch market was just over 11,000 and declining. That score is calculated by summing the scores calculated for every individual influencer in the market by looking at the opinions they share, and reactions those opinions get, across news, blogs and social media.
Since then, the score rose dramatically to a high of just over 23,000 on July 4th, before falling back to it’s current position near 13,000.
To put that score into context, while smart watches was cresting around 23,000, the conversation surrounding another hot topic – digital payments – hit a nadir between 6,000 & 7,000, with people discussing bitcoins, crypto-currency, startups like Venmo, and more. Compare those numbers, and two other relevant topics, in our new influence comparison tool, below.
What’s Driving Influential Conversation in the Smart Watch Market?
So what drove a 100% increase in opinions and reaction about smart watches over the past 90 days? Our analysis shows that this growth is due more to influencers continued excitement about products that aren’t on the market (or are even mere speculation) and not the watches that Samsung and LG have since released for sale.
Samsung & LG Swept Away
Back in March, Korean giants Samsung and LG both registered huge gains when they announced their latest watches; their scores increased by 326 and 307 points respectively. But following the actual product introductions in June, Samsung saw only an 83 point score increase, while LG registered a miniscule growth of 67. In other words, the actual products did not cause people to share significant opinions or generate widespread reactions. That’s not to say that these product releases didn’t inspire any discussion. Following these announcements, Google, whose Android Wear software is powering both devices, saw a 1095-point increase. While the individual devices didn’t garner that much attention, (other than negative reviews) influencers continue to buzz about the “potential” that remains in Google’s smart watch platform. In fact, the overall influence for the entire industry is actually up since May, driven largely by Google, Apple, and small increases by bit the more marginal players.
Apple’s Time To Shine
Diving into Apple’s continued rise in influence is even more telling. At the time Appinions published its report, they were the #2 most influential company in the sector, but since then they’ve claimed the top spot. And yet, they haven’t put a single watch on the market. In fact, rumors of an iWatch are no less speculative than they were in the Spring, and yet excitement continues to build. In fact, the volume and quality of influential conversation around Apple’s smart watch has almost doubled since May – while Samsung and LG shipped products and saw their scores drop.
Will Moto Clean The Competition’s Clock?
The next test case will be Motorola, expected to release their Moto 360 watch this September. With a distinctive circular face, this watch is perhaps the industry’s best chance to buck the trend of underwhelming product launches. When they announced the product in March they garnered a massive 864 point jump in their influence score, representing over a 300% gain from their previous standing. Will people talk about, react to, comment on, and share opinions and reactions about the Moto 360 when it’s actually in their hands (or on their wrists)? We’ll let you know. Or keep track yourself with our new LIVE smart watch influence tracking page. In the meantime, read our full Smart Watch Influence Study for a deeper look at this exciting industry.