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That Thing Attached to Your Hand? It Might Be Doomed


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A smart watch.

Harvard University professor Woodward Yang says new devices like Google Glass and smartwatches will not supplant smartphones any time soon.

Credit: ZDnet

In an interview, Harvard University professor Woodward Yang says the personal technology market will experience business disruptions due to constant innovation. As Apple and Samsung compete in the smartphone market, the technology is becoming commoditized, enabling new players to emerge with competitive offerings. "As the technology matures, you get a disruption," Yang says. "It's not a disruption of technology, though, but a disruption of the business, the high-margin business."

As new players cut into the margins that established companies earn on smartphones, older players are forced to innovate with technologies such as smartwatches, Google Glass, and the iCloud. "This is the motivation behind the relentless innovation in tech and the differentiation that it gives your products so that you can command higher margins and larger market share," Yang says.

However, new devices will not supplant smartphones in the near future, because devices such as Google Glass and smartwatches "aren't big enough for the processor, data storage, cellular communications circuitry, and especially the battery, so you still need a smartphone," Yang notes.

He says smartphones rose to mainstream use because they fill the need to check email, hold conversations, and use the Internet from any location. New technologies that effectively fulfill specific consumer needs are likely to meet with similar success, Yang predicts.

From Harvard Gazette
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