So, 2017 has arrived.
The new year means that we can finally analyse what happened in the previous one. That’s why we are going to tell in general terms what 2016 brought on the mobile accessory market.
For sure, the last year was quite interesting. A lot of novelties appeared on the market. But in whole, the tendency didn’t change – there is still a high demand on smart home devices, VR headsets, health trackers and headphones. We also saw a lot of hi-tech and unique accessories which so far need time to adapt to this quickly changing market.
Besides, there were a lot of trend variations, when, for instance, electronics brands started producing leather accessories and periphery devices or software companies made health/fitness trackers. Another example is Razer. The company, specialized in mice, keyboards or other gaming accessories, made a laptop called Razer Blade. Nonetheless, such changes were surprising in 2014 or 2015. In 2016 no one found it unusual. We are getting used to seeing that literally tomorrow something absolutely new may hit the market and it’s not a big deal.
Now, let’s take a closer look at main segments of mobile accessory market and find out what happened to them last year.
In 2016 we saw so many gadgets and wearables that it would take a much bigger article to name even the best of them. In short, we can say for sure that this segment will be updating and renovating for a long time making investments in it quite risky.
Also, from this gadget diversity stems another interesting thing – there is no obvious leader on this market. We all know that iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world but it’s hard to say which brand is similar to Apple among gadgets, wearables or smart home devices.
Audio and Speakers.
If other segments had some changes, the audio market remained almost “untouched”. Perhaps, it has something to do with how difficult and expensive it is to make devices with high-quality sound. After all, people won’t buy products with bad audio. So, top brands are still the same: BOSE, Harman Kardon, Pioneer, Yamaha, JBL, Beats, Philips, Bowers & Wilkins.
In the mobile device accessory segment (cases, lightning cables, chargers, power banks, etc) we see active development from many brands, like Twelve South, Moshi, Incipio, Otterbox, Belkin, Cozistyle, Mophia, Just Mobile, Anker.
One curious change concerns protective films. If 2 years ago everyone still picked the best brand of films, now, there’s no question about brands. Manufacturers learned to make cheap but good protective films, so there’s no place for brands here. We could name some of them, such as Spigen, Zagg and Moshi. Even Apple could make protective films under their own brand if the company were interested in it. The demand on them is high but we still don’t see any screen films for iPhone / iPad / MacBook from Apple.
Speaking of backpacks, we have traditional and “premium” leaders – TUMI, THULY, Swissgear, Herschel, Samsonite, Everki, Hedgren, Ogio. Of course, every backpack has its own distinctive features: expensive materials, stylish design, ergonomics or functionality. In the previous year, there were a lot of interesting products, like a backpack with built-in power bank for charging smartphones, tablets and laptops on the go or the one with an attached skateboard.
Another trend was protection – we saw many packs with various protective, so called Anti-Theft elements which prevent stealing or completely waterproof, even inflatable packs, and so on. In any case, all of them are great in their own way. Perhaps, 2017 will bring even more peculiar backpacks.
The decrease in smartwatch sales can also be explained with market oversupply and its diversity. Chasing after innovations will be fatal for many brands, they may have to leave the market some day or cut their investments. The main reason, in our opinion, is the following – it is a market inside a market. Watches have existed for a long time and then came smartwatches. They try to replace regular watches but it’s hardly going to happen. Anyway, time will show.
In conclusion, we have to say that changes and disturbances on the mobile device and accessory market are present. That’s why it’s hard to predict anything for 2017. It will be rather difficult to name any of these segments stable in 2017.
We didn’t cover all spheres of mobile device and accessory market – we wrote only about those which interest users, stores and distributors the most.
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