Dell: Windows 8 tablet sales slow, contemplating smartwatches

Dell: Windows 8 tablet sales slow, contemplating smartwatchesSmartwatch, smartwatch, everywhere a smartwatch. That’s the song we’ll be singing before long - if the world of tech has its wicked watch-based way with us.

Everyone and his friggin’ dog is eager to move into the “wearable tech” space, and US manufacturer Dell is no different – straight from the mouth of the proverbial horse.

Spurred on by the shrinking PC market and slow sales of Windows 8 tablets, Dell joins a long list of names, with Sony recently unveiling the SmartWatch 2, and a plethora of talk around the still-entirely-unofficial Apple iWatch.

Meanwhile, Samsung has confirmed that it’s working on a smartwatch, and even Foxconn – best known as manufacturer of Apple products – recently debuted an iPhone-compatible wrist-based device.

As for Dell, Sam Burd (who is not, in fact, a burd), has been mouthing off to The Guardian about the manufacturer’s interest in the rise of wearable technology.

“There are challenges in cost, and how to make it a really good experience," begins Samuel. "But the piece that's interesting is that computers are getting smaller. Having a watch on your wrist – that's pretty interesting, pretty appealing."

Er, not if you’re JanSt, matt101101 or barrybarryk. But hey, we’re sure there’s a market out there.

Sam continues: “I don't see any magic new form factor like the iPad – I don't think anybody saw how that was going to change devices. But the number of [computing] devices per person is exploding.

“We haven't announced anything, but we are looking at the technology in that space."

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JanSt / MOD  Jul. 7, 2013 at 10:29

Well, I'm worried that there is actually a market for those things. Not NOW, but the moment they are launched the right way.
Who'd have thought there are couch potatoes whose inner Rocky Balboa could be weaned off TV and the laptops if you just gave them an app to tweet their progress? Not to mention mobile phones themselves or the Walkman - all wearable tech (I'd add condoms, but it's Sunday)... iPad ( I saw a family windowshopping yesterday. The 5 year old had a battered iPad he kept whacking while one parent was yacking on the phone and the wife was, well, on the phone, too... Great family outing.
"I'll never buy CDs!" Was an indie lovers battlcry in the early 80s.... LOL That lasted 20 minutes.

But again, smartwatches aren't news... It's the right PR that'll make them a hit. Smartphones weren't new when the iPhone came out, yet Apple's sleazily cool marketing made the iPhone into a smartphone icon even though the first 2 hardly qualified as smartphones...

Stelph  Jul. 8, 2013 at 10:20

Agree, the first time someone makes a smartwatch "right" I think itll be a hit, and by right I mean

- make it as slim and lightweight as possible
- make the UI as intuitive as possible
- Have an easy way to charge (screaming for wireless charging) and a large battery life that lasts several days

Get these right and I think everyones inner geek will take hold due to the coolness, in the same way that Siri really sold the iPhone 4s

barrybarryk  Jul. 8, 2013 at 14:31

Until someone comes up with an accurate input method they'll be far too small to be of any use (unless you're seriously going to tell me in any reality typing on a watch isn't going to be cumbersome, or maybe you're going to talk to it, since media keeps telling us voice control is acceptable and totally usable as a primary input) not to mention their output (the screen) will be prohibitively small due to the package size.

It's not about people decrying new tech, we've done this dance before when phones, MP3 and video players were all in a race to miniaturise the most. Then they got too small to be useful and started getting bigger again.

It's pointless. It's just releasing a new product for the sake of having a new product.

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 8, 2013 at 14:53

Barry, good point. Sony are responsible for this. When Betamax flopped in the early 80' despite its technological superiority over VHS, Sony had a legendary brainstorming session. A memo got leaked... They redefined how in future needs need to be invented along with solutions - ie products nobody needs, wants or ever even thought about...

I'm sure other companies have the same approach, but the Betamax fail was a massive story back then, and certainly taught many tech copanies a lesson.


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