Casio is a well-known brand in the wristwatch market but the company also has other products to offer such as cameras, smartphones, calculators and more. Now the company has revealed its plan to foray into the smartwatch market in 2016.
The wearable market is growing at a rapid pace. A June 2014 International Data Corporation (IDC) report suggests that vendors shipped more than 11 million wearables including smartwatches in the first quarter of 2015 in comparison to 3.8 million wearables shipped in the same quarter of 2014.
Many smartphone makers such as Apple, Samsung, Motorola and more have also stepped into the growing market. Casio has decades of expertise in the wristwatch market and the Japanese company should be comfortable launching a smartphone as well.
Kazuhiro Kashio, Casio's president, says that the company had developed wristwatches with communication functions, heart rate monitors and more, which are found in many current smartwatches. However, some of these wristwatches were pulled off when they did not sell well in the market.
Kashio added that Casio is now developing a smartwatch that will be simple, feels good on the hand and does not break easily. Moreover, the upcoming Casio smartwatch will be available at an attractive price range starting at around $400, which is similar to the price tag of many smartwatches available in the market. However, the company added that it is yet to finalize the price of its smartwatch.
Casio is planning to release its first smartwatch in March 2016, which will be initially available in the U.S. and in Japan. The Casio smartwatch will be targeted at men who are involved in outdoor leisure and sports activity. The company is also expecting high sales from its smartwatch.
"We will aim to achieve about ¥10 billion [about $80 million] in smartwatch sales as soon as possible and expand the business from there," says Kashio.
Casio's watch operations make up about 50 percent of the company's total sales, which reflects that a smartwatch from Casio may also be welcomed by users. However, the company may still have to face stiff competition from the likes of Apple Watch, Samsung Gear S, Motorola Moto 360 and more in the smartwatch market.
Photo: MIKI Yoshihito | Flickr