Last year, Samsung was our readers’ favorite smartwatch maker. But that was pre-Apple Watch days. Today, this award has landed in the hands of Apple, and with 54% of the votes, it’s a comfortable win. We can only posit that the Apple Watch’s tight integration with the iPhone, nice selection of apps, and of course, Apple’s strategy to have different collections and watch bands to satisfy as many types of customers (you know there’s an edition just for Chinese New Year, right?), as reasons for its success. For Samsung and Android smartphone users, we rate the Gear S2 very highly (now in 18k rose gold for the Classic version, too), and are happy to see that Samsung is going to make it work on iOS.
You know what? The Apple Watch didn’t spell the death of fitness trackers. According to the NDP Group, annual 2015 dollar and unit sales of connected activity trackers experienced respective growth of 110% and 85% compared to 2014. For this newly created award, Fitbit is our runaway winner, with 43% of the votes. But while the San Francisco-based company’s Charge, Charge HR, and Surge activity trackers have seen good sales, it doesn’t mean Fitbit doesn’t care about the threat from smartwatches. In fact, just this past CES, Fitbit unveiled the Blaze, which is a super-advanced fitness tracker in the form of a smartwatch.
With 36% of the votes, IT and CE chain store Challenger has now won the Best CE Chain Store award for the fourth straight year. Best Denki is second with 15%, and Harvey Norman, which just opened a giant flagship outlet at Millenia Walk, is third with 13%.
Do you know that Qoo10 is by Giosis, a joint venture company formed with eBay? The Giosis Group now operates seven localized online marketplaces in five countries, including Japan and Singapore, and has plans to expand into more Asian countries in the near future. With 36% of the votes, Qoo10 is the inaugural winner of our new Best Electronics Shopping Portal (Singapore) award. Not far behind is Lazada, with 23%. With several overseas e-commerce sites now shipping to Singapore and the thriving business of goods forwarders, it'll be interesting to see how both rise to the challenge in 2016.