The trendy piece of tech that’s dwarfing Apple / The New Daily

JawboneFitBit-1 Report claims the tech giant is getting thrashed in an emerging area it tried to claim.

Apple has lost the battle of the wrist to Fitbit, which is now arguably synonymous with the word ‘wearable’.

New data from an international research group confirmed this week the company’s dominance. In the final quarter of 2015, Fitbits outsold Apple Watches two-to-one.

Fitbit shipped 8.1 million devices between October and December last year, giving it nearly 30 per cent market share, compared to 4.1 million Apple Watches, International Data Corporation (IDC) reported on Wednesday. Close behind was Chinese brand Xiaomi (9.7 per cent) followed by Samsung (4.9 per cent) and Garmin (3.5 per cent).

Sure to irritate Apple further, the free Fitbit app was the most downloaded from the Apple app store on Christmas and Boxing Day in Australia, the USA and Canada, according to research firm App Annie. Clearly, many gift recipients were excited to try out the devices after unwrapping.

Fitbits are wireless, portable devices that track the user’s food, water, sleep and exercise. They range in price from A$82 for a Fitbit that clips to clothing to about A$400 for the most expensive watch.

The Apple Watch is an expensive niche product, whereas Fitbits appeal to the masses, an expert says.

A tech futurist told The New Daily that the company has captured the dominant market position, not just through savvy marketing that has made them “almost synonymous with the industry”, but also by giving consumers what they want – simplicity and affordability.

“The Fitbit is an off-the-shelf product. You don’t need to know or have or do anything. You just have to buy it and shove it on your hand. It doesn’t necessarily have to connect to a laptop or anything elaborate if you don’t want to, although it can of course,” futurist Morris Miselowski said.

In contrast, the Apple Watch is “really an entry product” for early adopters, not the mainstream market, he claimed.

“Apple doesn’t fit in that broader market place. It still only plays to its ecosystem with a limited range of possibility – and it’s expensive.”

Apple Australia responded to The New Daily‘s request for comment by pointing to CEO Tim Cook’s remarks on quarterly earnings from January.

“We expanded distribution of Apple Watch to almost 12,000 locations in 48 countries during the quarter. As we expected, we set a new quarterly record for Apple Watch sales, with especially strong sales in the month of December,” Mr Cook said.

Why are we buying them?

Compared to Fitbits, the Apple Watch does far more. It tracks health data like its main competitor, but can also send texts, make calls, run apps, give directions and perform internet srches when connected to an iPhone.

It is also far more expensive. The most costly Fitbit, the Surge watch, starts at A$400, whereas the cheapest Apple Watch starts at A$499.

Fitbits are specifically marketed as health and fitness devices. They are able to track calorie intake, water intake, steps per day and sleep patterns.

As confirmed by Wednesday’s IDC report, consumers have clearly indicated their preference, although an expert said the average buyer may not be entirely sure why they are buying these wearables.

“I’m not sure consumers know why they want them, to be truthful,” tech futurist Mr Miselowski said.

“It’s a new technology we never knew we wanted or needed. It just wasn’t anything that was in our mindset. All of a sudden we’ve become aware that for a couple of hundred bucks we can do something unusual that we’ve never been able to do before, so we have our early adopters jumping in.

“I think they’re seeing that everybody else has them, and that they’re inquisitive.”

Will the novelty wear off?

Research firm Endeavour Partners estimated in 2014 that about a third of trackers get abandoned after six months.

You may lose interest in this generation of wearables, but what’s to come will ‘change the market forever’. Photo: Getty

Mr Miselowski predicted a similar “disillusionment phase” this year after the hype of Christmas, but was convinced the devices would stand the test of time.

“My concern is that we will drop off into a disillusionment phase this year – that people who have bought these devices, worn them for a couple of months, counted their steps or done whatever and thought, ‘Is that all there is to it?’” Mr Miselowski said.

“Three or four months down the track, they may look at it a little bit less, get a little bit disillusioned with it, but I’m fairly sure that will take care of itself when we start to see more purposeful uses for it.”

Fitbit will continue to dominate the market, at least in the short term, Mr Miselowski predicted – and that wearables would eventually make other forms of technology obsolete.

“In many ways, they’ll do away with our mobile phone as we know it now.”

 

click here for original article written by Jackson Stiles, The New Daily, Life Editor

To Apple Watch or not? | Radio 3 Hong Kong

applewatch_005Ahead of its release on the 24th April there are already counterfeit Apple watches being sold in China and Hong Kong as well as paper facsimiles of it to be sent into the afterlife with departed love-ones, but this is not what triggered this weeks regular chat with Phil Whelan of Radio 3 Hong Kong.apple_watch_paper

Phil was keen to work through whether the watch would take off and whether we needed it.

This new watch, of which there are many competitors, will have 30 distinct design variations, across 2 sizes 38mm and 42 mm and in 4 price points,  HK$4,288, HK$5,088, HK$8,588 and the last the gold version HK$78,000.

Phil’s concern was that over the last few decades we have stopped wearing watches and that this new technology will mean new habits will have to be learned, but given the rise and rise of wearable devices and that this is still very early days in what will be a significant technology category, expected to be worth $11.6 billion in 2020, I’m confident we will soon get used to wearing watches, glasses, brooches and all sorts of connected devices.

My advice to the listeners is if you can’t live without it, get it, but unlike watches of old, this is not as one-off lifetime purchase. This technology is very new and the next version will be significantly evolved from the current, so perhaps buy a base or intermediate watch and as we learn to upgrade our watches every 12 months, be prepared to buy another one and then another one in the very near future.

Have a listen now (13 minutes)…


Unlearn the Future – Morris Live at TEDx Melbourne

To have the TEDx stage for 18 minutes is a privilege and an honor. To use this global platform to tell the story of my family’s past, to introduce my ancestors who have not been spoken of or seen in over 70 years to a worldwide audience that they could never have imagined and to combine all of this with my love of the infinite possibilities of the future and what we must each do to allow these opportunities into our lives is a gift that I will cherish forever – thank you!!

I would love you to watch it, like it and leave a comment to let me know what you see ahead and what excess baggage you’re leaving behind to make room for the future and an enormous thank you to the 1,000+ people that watched it within the first 24 hours of it being put up on YouTube.

Careers and Beyond

future-jobs-jpgEver wanted to know what the best career choices are? Here’s a great article, hot off the presses on future career paths and it even has some choice quotes from your favourite business futurist.

reprinted from Careers FAQ

The A-Z of top jobs for 2014 and beyond
09 Dec 2013
By Marni Williams

Where are the shortages?

According to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), employment is set to grow by 820,100 jobs, or 7.1 per cent, to November 2017 across most industries and occupations in Australia. That’s decent growth, but if you want to get a job in 2014 you need to know where the demand will be.

DEEWR says the biggest areas for job growth will be healthcare and assistance (13 per cent), retail trade (8.9 per cent) and construction (10.1 per cent): ‘Together, these three industries are expected to provide nearly half of the total growth in employment over the next five years’.

Business futurist Morris Miselowski suggests we will have six careers within a lifetime, so if you’re thinking about which direction to take next it would pay to consider one of the golden opportunities below – because this is where the jobs will be.
Top jobs in 2014:

Accounting and finance
Aged and disabled care
Business bankers
Community engagement and community development
Construction
Data miners, data scientists, data anything…
Dental technicians
Digital marketing managers
Education
Health technologists and medical device reps
Mobile developers
Online retailers
Programmers
Project managers
Senior leasing executives
Tourism and hospitality
Website content writers
3D printers
Accounting and finance

Jobs for accountants are still going strong and are set to increase by 12.6 per cent to 2017 (DEEWR).

There will be demand in the financial and wealth management areas, specifically for senior financial planners, multilingual financial planners and financial paraplanners.

Global recruiter Hays says: ‘In accountancy and finance we expect to see new jobs created within the area of business and IT transformation … so that an organisation can adapt to growth and make cost savings. It is also important for audit/compliance purposes, particularly if the company plans to become ASX listed or has been acquired by an overseas head office’.
Aged and disabled care

Aged and disabled care has seen growth of over 102 per cent over the last five years and it will only continue to grow exponentially as preventative care, residential care, therapeutic treatments and hospital services will be required by large numbers of ageing baby boomers.

Business bankers

Business banking is a growth area, with new roles created in specialist areas. Credit assessors with a strong mortgage background and a DCA or equivalent will be in high demand as new teams are created in major banks. In addition, candidates with front-end retail experience will be sought as banks change their approach to business banking.
Community engagement and community development

With our cities needing to cope with growing populations, housing shortages and changing demographics, local councils are getting serious about community engagement. So, too, are businesses as they understand the importance of community outreach and really engaging with customers, residents and businesses.
Construction

The ongoing shortage of surveyors continues as students shy away from maths and science. With many bound to retire, it’s not just an area of opportunity, it’s vital to a strengthening construction industry.

Hays highlights a ‘historical’ shortage of estimators encompassing the residential, commercial and civil sectors. They are also seeing demand for civil estimators in response to recent restructures.
Data miners, data scientists, data anything…

Business futurist Miselowski is excited: ‘We have spent the last 30 years feeding information about ourselves and the world into the digital ether, without getting much wisdom back. The next frontier is mining this information and turning it into purposeful knowledge. A new breed of employee is emerging called data scientists, who are tasked with the job of refining data to enable good decisions’.

Hays agrees, saying that employers are increasingly looking for applicants with a Master in Information Systems. This is one job that can translate across many sectors.
Dental technicians

With our ageing population, the fact that most of us retain our own teeth much longer, and an increase in demand for cosmetic dental work, dental technicians will be in high demand alongside a range of health professions. According to the Australian Dental Association, demand for dental prostheses is down, but specialist areas such as crowns and bridges are up.
Digital marketing managers

When I asked her about trending jobs, Director of Hays (NSW & ACT) Jane McNeill put digital marketing high on her list:

‘Digital marketing managers are in demand as growth and investment in digital marketing is creating a “digital disconnect” in which the jobs market in digital marketing technology is hungry for skilled workers. The evolution of digital marketing is set to continue over the next decade and this will have a huge impact on the skills employers need. As this continues to be a growing area candidates with technical knowledge or digital expertise are in high demand.’
Education

We’ve seen impressive numbers turn to online education all over the world, but will there be jobs to follow? Fairfax’s Employment Forecast says that population growth will see the education sector continue to rise, having ‘shrugged off the weakness in the international student sub-sector to record continued jobs growth, with positions up 4.6 per cent’.

A recent government report indicates that the international student sector could grow by 30 per cent by the end of the decade. With continued population growth and the investment in skills and training programs, the outlook for the sector is bright.

It has also noted a surge in pre-school teacher positions and ‘a significant shortage of early childhood teachers’. Positions in the tertiary education sector are also up 3.4 per cent.
Health technologists and medical device reps

You may know that healthcare is experiencing the biggest growth of all sectors, but it’s also changing. With developments in everything from genetics to wearable technologies and robotics, a plethora of new jobs are expected. Miselowski expects new titles such as ‘genetic counsellor’, ‘telemedical practitioner’ and a range of medical device reps to appear.

Anyone who works in the allied health profession but also understands computers and technology will find plenty of opportunities on the horizon. And a range of medical device reps are already needed, as Hay’s Jane McNeil says:

‘In life sciences there are new products coming to market and companies are keen to employ medical device reps with like-for-like experience so that they can hit the ground running. An increasing number of roles now also require clinical backgrounds.’
Mobile developers

Technology recruiter Greythorn is optimistic in its report: ‘With mobile access to the web growing at an exponential rate, and the way in which we interact with the web being driven more and more toward mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, mobile developers are becoming a highly sought after entity’.

Expertise across Android, iOS and HTML 5, coupled with e-commerce integration skills, social networking and API knowledge will set you up to take advantage of this growth area.
Online retailers

It’s hardly ground-breaking news: according to the Australian and New Zealand Online Shopping Market 2013 report, online retail is growing strongly.

National Australia Bank’s latest online retail sales index tells us that online sales have hit 6.2 per cent of retail spending. What’s more, the average annual spend for Australian online shoppers is expected to hit $1750 by the end of this year and 90 per cent of online shoppers expect to maintain or increase their spending over the next year.
Programmers

For a moment there IT might have looked like it was having a slow patch, but the industry is still growing strongly and more growth is expected with the continued rollout of the NBN. However, programmers are now working on short-term contracts and this is set to continue. As Greythorn says, ‘project-based recruitment will be one of the pillars of growth and activity for our industry’. Java and PHP skills are, and will continue to be, highly valued.
Project managers

It’s a broad field, but DEEWR predicts contract, program and project administrators to increase by a whopping 16.4 per cent to 2017. It might be time to really work on those project management skills.
Senior leasing executives

McNeill cites several large new shopping centre developments and upgrades as a driver of real estate jobs in some regional areas – ‘there is more vacant space to fill with tenants. This has created demand for senior leasing executives in the retail space’.
Tourism and hospitality

According to the Fairfax Employment Forecast, the sector is turning around, with jobs once again growing. Burgeoning areas include medical tourism, ancestry travel and sustainable tourism.
Website content writers

As Google declared ‘content is king’, journalists couldn’t believe their ears. Fairfax agrees: ‘In a surprising turnaround, positions for journalists and other writers continue to grow, thanks to the spurt in online content at the expense of more traditional media’.

The journalism and media category actually grew by 3.1 per cent in 2013, which is above-average growth. With the exponential growth in online content production, those with the skills to write it will find themselves in high demand.
3D printers

Ok, so this one might not exactly be ready for 2014, but it’s not far off and is one of the most exciting developments to come. St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne will be trialling 3D printing of human body organs within five years and expect that printing human spare parts could become normal within 10 years.

The CSIRO has even initiated the Australian Additive Manufacturing Network to link research organisations with industry to make the use of 3D printers commercially effective. Get involved in 2014 and you’ll be ready for the next set of top jobs coming our way!