By Wares July 27, 2018 Industry news

Google launches Smart Displays, Kitchen Things goes experiential, confidence in Kogan stays low and wearables experience a fight for market share.

Google launches Smart Displays

Yesterday Google went live with the first of the previously previewed Smart Display products, starting with Lenovo's, which will be available through US retailers this weekend. These new voice assistant devices access Google Assistant but also offer streaming video, YouTube, and you can get visual extras to your enquiry... The Lenovo Smart Display is available in two display sizes and colours: the 8-inch HD version for US$199.99 and the 10-inch Full-HD version for US$249.99, and they both come with a full-range 10W speaker for loud and clear audio.


Kitchen Things goes experiential

The new Kitchen Things Luxury Collection venture in Auckland's Newmarket shopping area got a massive plug last night on TV1's Seven Sharp. The aspirational new showroom isn't just kitchens but also bathrooms and it doesn't just have salespeople, it has Luxury Showroom Experience Coordinators... It's "a place to meet, to experience, to learn, and to be inspired". Look out for more on customer experience and the appliance channel in the next issue of Wares magazine...


Apple loses share in wearables

The wearables category is clearly continuing to develop, even if it's trending towards becoming a more fitness-focused market. According to the latest Canalys data for Q2 2018, global shipments of Apple Watch alone grew by 30% to 3.5 million units. In terms of Apple Watch 3, the latest numbers show LTE versions took 60% of the total. Canalys also notes however that Garmin and Fitbit both took share from Apple in Q2, leaving the Cupertino brand with a bit more than a third of total Q2 shipments. And then there's further competition on the way from Samsung and Google with the impending launches of Galaxy Watch and Pixel watches...


Kogan soars ... and then tanks 

The latest trading update from Kogan prior to revealing its full year (coming next month) was full of good news including a 90% boost to its bottom line, almost 1.4 million active customers and great cash flow. Despite this optimistic outlook and the previous announcement that it would be getting into whiteware, Logan's shares tanked. Financial market watchers say this may be a hangover from the negative message created by the two founders unexpectedly selling a parcel of shares...

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