The Japan-based company, Casio is also a well-established retailer of wristwatches and some other products such as smartphones, cameras, calculators and more. The company has revealed its plan to produce their first smartwatch with debut somewhere during 2016.
The market of smart wearables is growing fast and many of world class companies have decided to participate in the making of such watches, such as Motorola, Apple and Samsung. The company has years and years of producing high quality watches behind them, and now they have decided to try out the market with a new product.
Casio’s president, Kazuhiro Kashio says that the company has made watches with functions for communication, heart rate and some other similar functions, which can be found in many smartwatches today. However, some of them were pulled off the market because they did not meet the expectations and did not sell well.
Casio’s president also said that they are currently developing a new smartwatch that will have some simple features and it will feel good on the wrist and won’t break that easily. The smartwatch will be available at a price of $400, which is fairly attractive and similar to other prices of such smartwatches on the market. He also stated that the price still needs to be finalized.
The release date for the upcoming smartwatch is somewhere in March 2016, and the watch will be initially available in Japan and United States. The watch will target mostly men who enjoy outdoor sports and leisure activity. Casino’s expectations are high, sale wise. Casio also mentioned that the company aims to achieve around $80 million in sales and to expand the business from there.
The company’s watch operations make up approximately 50% of their total sales, which points that the new Casino smartwatch could very well be highly welcomed by users. However, Casino will undoubtedly have to face some tough competition from other well-known brands such as Apple Watch, Motorola Moto 360, Samsung Gear S and others.
Casio is starting off from a relatively strong position. They are established manufactures of keyboards, cameras and other high quality products. People trust them. The overall market of smartwatches is expected to grow up to 101 million unit shipments in year of 2020 from 3.6 million unit shipments in 2014.
The president of Casio has spent four years leading a team of experts who are developing the new smartwatch. He pointed out that during those four years he rejected a few prototypes that did not meet the expectations, including a bit over bulky phone watch.
The success of Casiotron, the first digital watch made by Casio in 1974 forged the company’s grand connection with watchmaking endeavor. However, the sales were not high back then, until the robust G-Shock watches became the biggest hit in the 1990s. The company has decided mostly to focus on analog watches and its selected features.
Kazuhiro Kashio said that he does not think that the success will happen overnight, but he is certain that the watch will be a huge success looking in the long run.
Casio is betting its expertise as a highly known and well established manufacturer of watches to outmaneuver the cutting edge tech wizardry of Apple Watch with a smartwatch which will be designed for comfort and durability. The Japanese company says that they will focus on producing a watch that will try to be smart rather than a smart unit which is also a watch.
The company also made a change in personnel. One of the Kashio brothers stepped down as a president, and was replaced by his son, Kazuhiro Kashio.
When comparing the track record with Apple Inc, we can conclude that both companies had large success of cramming tech into hit units. Casio not long ago developed watches with features such as schedule managers, communication function and hear rate monitors.
All that is left now is to wait for March 2016 and see for ourselves just how well the new Casio smartwatch handles itself. The competition is strong and will not be intimidated that easily. Casio on the other hand has many decades of manufacturing behind them. We are all waiting with anticipation for the release date of the first Casio smartwatch.