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Wed 12 Feb 2014 02:05 PM

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Jumbo chief sees wearable devices among top buys in 2014

Vishesh Bhatia says action cameras, smart watches set to be big growth products this year

Jumbo chief sees wearable devices among top buys in 2014
Jumbo Electronics CEO Vishesh Bhatia.

Wearable devices such as action cameras and smart watches as well as a form of “hybrid” laptop and tablet are among the hot consumer electronic trends expected in 2014, according to Jumbo Electronics CEO Vishesh Bhatia.

Bhatia, who took over as CEO of the 40-year-old UAE company in 2012, said tablets and smart phones remained the “player of the month”.

He said next year these two products alone were forecast to make up about 43 percent of the $1.6 trillion global consumer electronic market.

“Our smart phone is our life now, you have everything on it – you can watch a movie, do any app you want, dine, exercise, track your heart rate, do anything you want,” he told Arabian Business.

However, he predicted in 2014 “the next big wave” in consumer electronics will be wearable technology such as Go-Pro action cameras and Google Glass, as well as wrist devices such as Sony’s Smartwatch.

“These are the next big wave and I think it just transforms what’s happening today,” he said. “Think of the impossible and it will happen.”

Jumbo, which Bhatia said was expected to record “under double digit growth” for the year ending March 31, has 27 retail stores and nine service centres across the Emirates.

Bhatia said laptops were “sliding” in popularity but he believed the curve was now flattening.

“There is always some demand from people for a keyboard – you can’t do something just on a tablet,” he said.

This could be achieved through so-called hybrids, which combined the best features of a laptop and keyboard, he said. “You’ve got your keyboard, you’ve got your screen, but you just want to do some browsing and you can unlock it,” he said.

“Hybrids is still not quite there with the consumer, it’s a bit heavy, and a bit expensive. But like anything else it will drop in price and I see that also being a great other device that people will buy and if it looks nice especially.”

Bhatia said previously a four-screen strategy existed based on a person using a mobile phone, tablet, computer and television. “But now you’re watching your TV and you’ve got your smart phone or your tablet and you’re playing around with it,” he said.

Jumbo last month signed a new micro distribution channel deal with Sony mobiles. Bhatia said he hoped another major distribution deal was around the corner.

“You have to demonstrate that you really can… make the investment and you have an enthusiastic appetite,” he said.

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