Why Did Snap Spectacles Die?

Snapchat Overestimated the Demand

Snap Inc., the parent company behind Snapchat, went public earlier this year with great fanfare.  It was one of the most highly anticipated IPO’s in the tech world.  And it subsequently fell drastically short of expectations.  In fact, it’s only anticipated to move down from here.  The problem is that demand for anything more than a messaging app where you can add silly filters isn’t all that high.

Snap Spectacles

The company realized this when they launched their Snap Spectacles.  A camera style device that was supposed to flood the market with new technology and pave the way to a more integrated society.  What has happened, however, is that the company is now stuck with hundreds of thousands of unsold specs.

What are Snap Spectacles?

The idea is actually a good one.  Snap integrated a camera into sunglasses.  A quick press of the button and you have a 10 second video.  Two presses of the button and you get 20 to 30 seconds of video.  Your memories are captured hands free, and automatically backed up onto the Snapchat servers.

The idea itself wasn’t bad, although the glasses could use a little bit of a makeover to make them look less like $.99 sunglasses, and more like something people would actually want to wear.

Why did Snap Spectacles Die?

There is a lot of speculation on the actual reason for not succeeding.

The spectacles launched in September 2016 and they were sold through yellow vending machines that just popped up unannounced.  A clever marketing trick that led to long lines and a lot of sales.  Later they launched online selling through Amazon where sales continued to grow.  They did over 150,000 units and beat the 100,000 unit projection by the company.  But interest quickly waned.  The official Amazon listing has a mere 73 reviews (or to put it in perspective .048% of buyers left reviews).

Snapbot selling spectacles

The cause of death?  According to Snap they were ahead of their time.  They believe hardware like the specs will be important in a decade, and they wanted to get started now.

But according to reviews and other sources, the glasses just weren’t practical.  The footage was shaky, it was un-editable, and ultimately nobody wanted to use them after just a few times.

The real problems, however, are for Snap Inc. as a company.  With hundreds of thousands of units left unsold, and nearly $30 million in commitments to buy more hardware, the company is left hurting.  They’ve lost nearly half their value since going public at the beginning of March, and the outlook isn’t good.

Bring Broken Devices to iDoctor

Here at iDoctor we love technology.  Even if it’s ridiculous, ahead of its time, cumbersome, and awkward, we love the progression.  Eventually something like Snap Spectacles could take off and become very mainstream.  When that happens, we will fix it when it breaks.

For the time being, if you have a computer that needs repaired, a laptop that has a bug, a phone with a cracked screen, or any other problems with your technology, come to either of our Billings locations and we can get you repaired and back out the door enjoying your devices.

*all images from the Snap Spectacles website.