September 2016 – Possibly a watershed in sports gadgets?

Suunto Spartan Ultra vs Garmin Fenix3We’ve already seen some interesting moves in running/tri and related watches over the last few weeks. The trade shows in September and announcements soon at Kona soon after should give us a VERY good idea of what the gadget landscape will be both leading up to Christmas 2016 and, in reality, the subsequent two years.

I’ve banged on about the expected Garmin Fenix 4 and Garmin 930XT so  I won’t dwell on those. They are the more specialist devices. Yes, they are ones that I am super-interested in and I know many of you are too. But we should also look at the other end of the market for populist devices of varying degrees of quality of construction/design. The reason we should look there is because that is where the new market leader may come from in 3/4/5 years time.

PREVIOUS VERSION WERE NOT GOOD ENOUGH: So we see a likely Samsung S3 and an Apple Watch 2. Maybe more form Sony, Asus, Pebble and Xiaomi.

NEW OS MOVES: We know that Polar are moving into AndroidWear with the M600. Hopefully more devices to follow in the future on that OS. But we also expect a successor to the awesome but aging V800. That may be called the V900 but there are some highly interesting developments with high-end Polar HRMs – not just because I like unusual HRMs (I do) but because the innovations in such accessories strongly imply new functionality in new watches. We are hoping that Polar has something ground-breaking to show here in September/October.

NEW HIGH-END COMPETITORS: Suunto will get the Spartan ULTRA’s firmware onto a competitive footing in September and will soon after show us the Spartan SPORT as well as an oHR option.

I know for sure there are other Swim/Bike/Run watches from at least 2 other manufacturers.

OPENING UP OF ACCESSORIES: We finally see Garmin getting write-to-FIT working for 3rd party devices like those of STRYD, MOXY and BSXInsight. That MAY see competitive accessory-offerings in those areas from Garmin but it finally means that some of those devices can be used in anger just as you would a normal footpod or HRM. IE you just put the sensor on it automatically pairs up and off you go to collect some new types of data as you run/bike/swim – WITHOUT THE NEED TO EITHER CARRY A SMARTPHONE OR FIRE UP THE SENSOR WITH AN APP ON A SMARTPHONE…grrrrrr.

OS COMPETITION: Whether Connect IQ will be a long term winner as an ‘app store’ to rival Apple’s or Google remains to be seen. (It won’t).

NEW PLAYERS…OLD PLAYERS: There’s new FINIS swimming stuff coming out (not sure if September is the date) and a Garmin Edge 1030/1010 may come as soon as October but much more likely in 2017. Polar will likely have a replacement V650 cycling/navigation computer at some point (not sure if September is the date). The cycling market is a funny one – in terms of units sold the market is huge and growing worldwide; yet Garmin dominate. Wahoo, MIO/Magellan and ACER/XPLOVA look on as do LEZYNE, CATEYE and many other small players. Maybe TomTom will go dedicated cycling too?

That’ll do for now. Start salivating.

Source: whatsontech
Source: whatsontech

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3 thoughts on “September 2016 – Possibly a watershed in sports gadgets?

  1. i´m looking forward to the next months… especially the m600 gave an idea in which direction polar is going. hope the successor of the V800 is as awesome as the current V800.
    i guess a big impact on the market shares will be the price of the untis.
    –> suunto is going nuts, 550€ for a gps watch with color display, not even barometric alt? they are crazy! 750€ for the titanium but i refuse to pay that much for a watch….
    –> garmins fenix are also pretty expensive, were also ~500€ when they got released, now still 350-400€, thats also really expensive.
    –> polar shows with the m600 for ~350€ starting price that gps watches dont need to be that highly priced. if they´ve a reasonable starting price (500€) for the v900 with barometric alt and so on (or whatever the v800 successor is called) they will rule the market

    1. I know that prices are going to start being challenged in that sector. Let’s see how it all pans out. bottom line for me tho is that I will pay WHATEVER the price is for a 930xt.

    2. My limit is $500 for watch but I don’t even see myself spending that much. I would buy the Spartan ultra for $400, but $800 and they are out of their minds. I’ll keep using my Ambit 3 peak until something catches my eye(hopefully the fenix 4)

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