In their first full sales quarter fewer than 64,000 Spectacles were sold. If that doesn’t sound like much here’s the really bad news: Q2 was even worse, with sales of only 41,500 units—a drop of roughly 35%. Snap recently started selling Spectacles through Amazon.com and Harrod’s in the UK, but I don’t foresee either of these entities reversing the company’s fortunes anytime soon. Amazon, if anything, will just enable easier returns.
One reason for the failure of this product has to be the obvious privacy issue; I just don’t think our society is ready for people wearing cameras on their faces. It’s reminiscent of my feelings about Google Glass—I was really excited about it’s AR potential until I encountered someone wearing it in New York City; with the realization that I was probably being recorded I suddenly wasn’t so interested anymore.
There’s also the fashion angle, or in the case of Spectacles the lack thereof. Imagine if, like Android Wear, Snap put aside their single, in-house design and instead partnered with established eyewear brands like Ray-Ban or Oakley. This way, Snap users could use the technology with their own sunglass style. As an added bonus, there would be a sales channel for Snap already in place.
Or maybe Spectacles are just a bad idea altogether. What do you think?