There’s a big consumer electronics conference in Berlin next week; IFA claims 1400 exhibitors in 145,000 square meters and 240,000 visitors, which puts it squarely in the league of CES, which sucks the air out of the industry for a week in early January. We expect a fair amount of news out of IFA, and it’s probably no coincidence that Motorola is formally announcing the Moto 360 during the show’s run.
The first explicit thing that’s crossed our desk about IFA is that LG will be announcing its own Android Wear watch: the LG G Watch R, a name that just rolls off the tongue. The R presumably stands for “round,” as opposed to all the rectilinear smartwatches that we’ve seen this past year. Here’s a teaser video:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1STW7LQXONo]
The R comes close on the heels of the main LG G Watch, which underlines one of the big advantages of big companies: they can make a lot of small-ish bets on niche markets to see which ones stick. Square, round, Android, Android Wear, Tizen, iOS — it doesn’t matter to a company the size of LG if the assembly line isn’t too expensive. None of it is likely to move the needle enough at this point to make a difference to a company that made a profit of $359 million last quarter, mostly thanks to 3G cell phones and TVs.