There’s a new player on the smartwatch scene.
More than 40 years after it introduced its first digital timepiece, the Casio Computer Co. says its new watch will compete with the Apple Watch. And its new device will focus on user comfort and durability.
As the Wall Street Journal put it:
“Casio says its product will be a watch that tries to be smart, rather than a smart device that is also a watch.”
Casio plans to release the Casio smartwatch in the U.S. and Japan in March 2016.
Kazuhiro Kashio, the company’s president, said in an interview with Wall Street Journal:
“At times we just showed off with quirky features and then pulled those products when they didn’t sell well. We are trying to bring our smartwatch to a level of watch perfection: a device that won’t break easily, is simple to put on and feels good to wear.”
The Casio smartwatch will sell for about $400, although Casio says that price has not yet been finalized.
Kashio says he has spent four years working with the team that’s developing the smartwatch. He’s rejected a number of prototypes that didn’t meet his standards, including a phone watch that was too bulky.
He said the Casio smartwatch will feature both function and appearance that target men active in sports and leisure.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Casio sold its first digital watch, the Casiotron, in 1974. The company is led by Kashio, son of Casio founder Kazuo Kashio, who stepped down in June after 27 years at the helm.
Casio employs more than 11,000 people, and had net sales of 338,389 million yen as of March 31 of this year.
Casio is hoping to hit $80 million in smartwatch sales as soon as possible. But it will be entering a market that also features watches from Apple and Samsung.
But as PC Magazine notes:
“Though the company will be squaring off against some established competitors, it’s possible that the Casio brand recognition could entice buyers.”
And Kashio is being cautious:
“I don’t think the smartwatch will be an instant success but we want it to grow in the long term.”
Image: Casio USA/Instagram