Casio is getting into the smartwatch game with a $500 Android Wear device. On price it won't initially be a threat to the Apple Watch, but Casio historically brings prices down quickly with scale. What if all watches become just smart enough at lower price points?
Fitbit shares were whacked after the company launched the Blaze, a fitness-based smartwatch designed to take on the Apple Watch. The freakout from Wall Street reflected concerns that Apple was much larger. Perhaps the takeaway should be that no one is scared of the Apple Watch. The price for the Blaze will run about $200 and that will undercut Apple and likely give Fitbit customers an upgrade path.
Under Armour and HTC announced the HealthBox, a suite of tools (heart rate monitor, health tracker and digital scale), that is aimed at athletes. While the Under Armour effort isn't directly competitive to the Apple Watch it's worth noting the price. The HealthBox bundle runs $400. For an athlete who is already on board with Under Armour apps--MyFitnessPal, MapMyFitness and Endomondo--the bundle will be appealing. In other words, Under Armour's brand is just as good as Apple's and the apparel maker could take the $400 that could have gone to the Apple Watch.
Samsung rolled out new editions of the Gear S2 for the high-end market. While Samsung smartwatches are priced at par with Apple Watch, the thing to note here is cadence. Samsung rolls out more features, apps and editions than Apple does. Also worth noting is that Gear 2 smartwatches will be compatible with Apple's iOS. That move would have been unthinkable if the Apple Watch got off to an iPhone-like start.
Fossil announced the Q54 Pilot, a new smartwatch that goes along with its broader line of watches. Fossil has three types of smartwatches with the Q54 Pilot and enhanced features. Fossil will be able to bring smartwatch prices down and although its first efforts left some fitness tracking and app gaps, the 2015 acquisition of Misfit will change that equation in a hurry. Fossil with Misfit can put the price squeeze on the smartwatch field as well as Apple.