H1 2016 OLED Wearable, Disappeared Smartwatch and Rising VR ∙ Smartband

bungee jump with Gear VR (Source = Samsung)

Hyunjoo Kang / jjoo@olednet.com

Unlike the same period last year, H1 2016 showed quiet smartwatch sector while VR (virtual reality) device and smartband became popular.

According to UBI Research, of OLED wearable device revealed in H1 2016, 6 are VR devices (OLED display is either directly equipped to the device or OLED smartphone can be connected) and 4 are smartbands. In H1 2015, there were 5 OLED smartwatches and 3 OLED smartbands. The difference between almost no smartwatches in H1 2016 is evident.

In VR sector, Oculus began the announcements with Samsung Display’s OLED equipped Oculus Rift in January. Following this, other companies such as Sony, HTC, and DeePoon revealed new products in international exhibitions. Samsung Electronics recently showed Gear VR that can be paired with Galaxy Note 7 in New York, and VR is expected to maintain its popularity in Q3.

In H1 2016, smartband stimulated the market with Samsung Electronics’ Gear Fit 2, Xiaomi’s Mi Band 2, and Fitbit’s Alta.

However, the only new OLED smartwatch product announced in H1 2016 was China’s GEAK’s GEAK Watch 3, and it was not even released in the market. The reason for the slump in the smartwatch market has been noted to be short battery life, and lack of useful applications. However, as Samsung Electronics and Apple are expected to announce new smartwatch products in Q3, renewed enthusiasm is anticipated.

Samsung’s Gear 3 is expected to be revealed in IFA 2016 in Berlin in September. Apple is also rumored to be announcing Apple Watch in September. Apple has already revealed smartwatch operating system Watch OS3 with improved speed and function in June.

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