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Sub £100 smartwatches needed for industry to succeed says manufacturer

Despite a number of manufacturers having jumped on the smartwatch bandwagon in recent weeks, the industry is still struggling to generate much consumer interest; an issue one manufacturer has put down to price.

Speaking exclusively with TrustedReviews, Archos CEO Loic Poirier has claimed that in order for the smartwatch sector to succeed, the techy timepieces need to cost less than £100.

Smartwatches have to be below £100,” the Archos head stated. “Why? Because if you’re spending £300 to £400 on your smartphone, and you hesitate to do that, how on earth will you pay £200 or £300 on a connected object that is a companion device, it will not happen.”

Given a smartwatch’s function as a secondary, add-on device to a smartphone, consumers have already called into question the cost of some early offerings, including the Samsung Galaxy Gear which will set wannabe owners back £300.

As well as picking out pricing concerns for slow smartwatch uptake, Poirier has highlighted design as another area where the industry needs to improve, telling us smartwatches need to be considered as fashion items as much as gadgets.

“In my opinion smartwatches have to be below £100, no choice, and it should mainly be around £50” the CEO reiterated. “On top of this, it has to be beautiful because you wear it most of the time.”

Archos unveiled its first wearable gadget at CES 2014 earlier this month in the form of the simply named Archos Smartwatch. Fitting Poirier’s plea, the device will cost just £99.99 at launch, with further items in the range even cheaper.

Speaking on the company’s own smartwatch plans, Poirier stated: “What we are going to do with smartwatches the same as the others but at a lower price point.”

He added: “We are good at value management so can launch a £49 watch that is going to be like the others just better on price.”

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