Taiwan wearable device makers shift production focus to smartwatches
Taiwan-based wearable device makers, including Mitac International, Papago, Holux Technology and GlobalSat Worldcom, have recently shifted focus to develop smartwatches instead of smart bracelets as China-based rivals have strengthened their respective bracelet product lines, which has resulted fierce price competition, according to sources in Taiwan’s supply chain.
Differences among smart bracelets have become narrow. Bracelets perform mainly as a pedometer, sleep recorder and smart alarm clock, and prices range from US$50-100. However, the release of Xiaomi bracelets has triggered a steep fall in prices to as low as US$20-30.
To avoid cut-throat competition with China-based suppliers, Taiwan’s makers have focused on GPS-enabled sports watches and sports bracelets, said the sources, adding that most sports watches integrate optical heart rate monitoring functionality, and can also link to smartphones for notifications of incoming calls, e-mails and SMS messages.
While top-tier smartphone vendors including Apple, Samsung and Asustek Computer targeting the high-end smartwatch segment which stresses more on industrial design, Taiwan-based suppliers have paid more attention to sports watches with GPS technology, commented the sources.
Currently, standard GPS-enabled sports watches are priced between US$100-150, and those with optical heart rate monitors are available at US$150-300. However, since Asustek has set its new ZenWatch series products below US$200, the US$100-200 segment is likely to become the main battlefield for smartwatches, said the sources.