Would You Wear Your Music? Apple Thinks Big With The Wearable Tech Market

May 17 2014, 5:12am CDT | by

From all indications it appears that the Apple – Beats Electronics deal will come to pass, and as we move forward from the initial leak a week or so ago, many analysts are focusing on the wearable tech part that Beats may bring to the Apple deal.

As I and other industry observers have written, Beats headphones are as much a fashion accessory as an audio accessory, with the balance clearly leaning towards the fashion side of things. There are plenty of other headphones available from serious audio manufacturers that not only sound better but are also cheaper, but virtually none come close to the sales numbers. Beats excels at marketing (much to the chagrin of the serious audio manufacturers), and as a result its headphones are all the rage, especially in the Urban community thanks to co-founder and uber-producer Dr. Dre (“Beats By Dr. Dre” is the brand name).

This scenario is one that’s actually very near and dear to Apple’s heart. It wasn’t that long ago that the iPod was the go-to music device for anyone even remotely into music, and the distinctive white earbuds made exactly the same statement then that Beats makes today, only to a much broader demographic.

The trend continued with the introduction of the iPhone, where you just weren’t hip unless you had one (signified again by the white earbud/microphone), which carried on until the various Android smartphones gained marketshare over the last 12 months or so. As a result, owning an iPhone no longer holds the same status as it once did.

It’s All In The Phone
Smartphones have now made dedicated digital music players superfluous, but headphones or earbuds are the still integral magic link between the music and the consumer. That said, Apple certainly has the wherewithal to design and market their own quality headphones if it wanted to compete with Beats on their own playing field, which makes one wonder even more about this acquisition (leaving Beats Music streaming service out of the equation for the moment)./>

That said, when it comes to wearable tech, there’s way more than headphones and earbuds. Google Glass is an example, although reports are that its technology isn’t quite ready for prime time yet. The much vaunted iWatch is another , although we’re still not sure if it’s just a mirage. Bluetooth rings and gloves are other examples, although they’re more output devices than input. The Fitbit tracker is yet another in widespread use. The point is, Apple is only marginally in this space at the moment, but it knows that what’s currently available is only the beginning of the wearable tech revolution. It’s possible that Beats can be a way to accelerate its entry into the space, assuming that the company has more to offer than just headphones. Then again, maybe its only a single piece to a very large puzzle.

The acquisition of Beats may be nothing but a smokescreen by Apple, designed to appease stockholders who question the company sitting on a large bankroll. Even if that’s the case, it may in fact signal a new market for the company, one with at least as much upside as its entry into the mobile world carried. Maybe Apple is a lot smarter than we thought after all.

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Apple Ditches SSL 3.0
Apple Ditches SSL 3.0
Apple is switching to TLS encryption after new vulnerabilities
 
 
Early Apple Computer Sells For Near $1 Million
Early Apple Computer Sells For Near $1 Million
The Apple 1 sale far exceeded expectations
 
 
Another Patent Troll Falls To Apple
Another Patent Troll Falls To Apple
The Cupertino company has dealt with another company claiming patent infringement
 
 
Apple and GT Part Ways
Apple and GT Part Ways
The Cupertino company has parted ways with their sapphire provider
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Second MERS case reported in Qatar
Doha, Oct 23 (IANS) A 43-year-old man in Qatar has tested positive for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the second confirmed case of the deadly virus in 10 days, media reported Thursday. The patient had...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Two people die in Pakistan bomb blast
Islamabad, Oct 23 (IANS) At least two people were killed and 12 others injured in an explosion that took place in Pakistan's Balochistan province Thursday, media reported. The bomb was planted on a motorcycle, Dawn...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Trott extends contract with Warwickshire till 2017
London, Oct 23 (IANS) England batsman Jonathan Trott, whose mental issues led to his abrupt departure from last winter's Ashes tour, has confirmed his successful comeback to competitive cricket by signing a new three-...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Srikanth, Kashyap big movers in BWF rankings
Kuala Lumpur, Oct 23 (IANS) Indian men shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap jumped seven places each in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings released Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Alvin Stardust dead
London, Oct 23 (IANS) English singer Alvin Stardust died after a short illness. He was 72. Stardust's manager confirmed the news about his demise Thursday, reports mirror.co.uk. He was recently diagnosed with...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Indian man reunited with family after 40 years
Dubai, Oct 23 (IANS) An Indian man, who had disappeared from his hometown in Kerala nearly 40 years ago, has been found by his family at a hospital in Dubai in the UAE, a newspaper report said. Now in his 60s, Abdulla...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Srikanth, Kashyap, Saina rise in world rankings
Kala Lumpur, Oct 23 (IANS) Indian men shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Parupalli Kashyap jumped seven places each in the latest released Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings Thursday while Olympic bronze medallist...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Flintoff signs for Big Bash side Brisbane Heat
Brisbane, Oct 23 (IANS) Former England captain and all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, who retired from international cricket in 2009, Wednesday confirmed that he will play for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League (BBL) this...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
OPEC daily basket price falls again
Vienna, Oct 23 (IANS/WAM) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) closed at $81.94 a barrel Wednesday compared to $82.09 Tuesday, the OPEC Secretariat said. The new OPEC...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Lopez to sign multi-million dollar deal?
Los Angeles, Oct 23 (IANS) Singer-actress Jennifer Lopez is reportedly in the final stages of securing a multi-million dollar deal to perform in Las Vegas. The 45-year-old is being offered $350,000 per show at The...
Read more on Celebrity Balla