A thought crossed my mind as I saw the newly announced Huawei smartwatch, and the new LG smartwatch (LG announced two actually one that runs Android wear and one that does not, more on that in another post) and how they relate to the newly kick-started Pebble Time: what if the Pebble smartwatch is actually a low-end disruptor to the smart-watch category?
Disruptive innovation is a theory put forth by Clayton M. Christensen, low-end disruption being one part of the overall theory:
“Low-end disruption” occurs when the rate at which products improve exceeds the rate at which customers can adopt the new performance. Therefore, at some point the performance of the product overshoots the needs of certain customer segments. At this point, a disruptive technology may enter the market and provide a product which has lower performance than the incumbent but which exceeds the requirements of certain segments, thereby gaining a foothold in the market. – Via Wikipedia
Of course the Pebble was released before the other smartwatches; and we still have to see what the Apple Watch and whatever Samsung announces today at Mobile World Congress do; so it’s not exactly classic low-end disruption. Maybe instead of disruption other products within the category (none of which have sold very well yet) the Pebble is actually a low-end disruptor of the entire smartwatch category?
What if we think we want a Dick Tracy-style smartphone on our wrist, but what we really want is something that tells the time, shows some notifications on our wrist, and has a batter charge that lasts all week?
Up until now I have not been much of a fan of the Pebble, I thought it was too limited. I might just have to re-think what the smartwatch category is all about.