Gadgets are great Christmas presents — here they are (based on app downloads)
3 innovation and digital news in 1 minute. Every Monday. Episode 276
News 1. Oculus tops the app downloads in the US — a sign!
Oculus, the Virtual Reality (VR) headset (Quest 2 and former versions) has been a large success in the US (and UK) with the app ranking number one at the time in both iOS and Google Play app stores. Meta’s offensive marketing in VR is paying with a successful Christmas season in the US (and also in the UK) adding new game versions like Resident Evil 4 or Warplanes. Opinion: The app is the link to app store with more than 250 games and apps (Quest 2). Buy and download to the VR set, reserve a seat for an event and share experience with others. The thing is, the VR experience for games or meditations (for example) is stunning and attracts more users.
A sign of first success for Meta (that wants to “build the metaverse”) and a great Christmas present.
News 2. Fitbit, a favourite present
Fitbit is the “veteran” of the tracking watch market and was acquired by Google two years ago (for $2.1bn). The app to connect the watch was in the top 15 of many Western countries, the US above all. New models like the Charge 5 are also key in the success. Opinion: The idea by the Google acquisition of Fitbit was to acquire competency and production capabilities for smart tracking watches. Fitbit also runs on the Google Wear OS. Google will launch an own production of watches in 2022. Will they keep the two brands Fitbit and Google watch?
Google offensive in smart watches in 2022!
News 3. Echo steady success, but only in some geographies and with connected objects
The Echo smart speakers and its “cheer leader” Alexa has built a steady success, especially at Christmas. In countries like the US (in top 5 app downloads) but also in the UK and France. And to some extent in Germany. Amazon traditionally pushes the Echo smart speaker at Christmas, but the success is based on the rising number of objects that can connect to Alexa, lamps, plugs, routers, vacuum cleaner robots, etc. Opinion: A paradoxal situation where the success lies more on third party objects than on Amazon Echo series. Looking at the app download, Alexa is ahead of Google Home and Samsung Connect. Still Alexa keeps on being in the news with fallbacks like overtaking the “penny challenge” and advise a child to manipulate an electricity plug.
Echo and Alexa remain a success, above all in the US, but comes into homes of other countries with connected objects.
Author is the research team (10 trend scouters) at specialist Space and Lemon Innovations (Hamburg, Berlin) — scouting innovations in main tech geographies, AI development, virtual worlds and e-commerce. Excerpts of research are gathered here in original weekly news since 2016, always with an opinion — no re-write of TechCrunch.
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