Dropping the ball

OK, so I messed up in predicting that Garmin would push out the Edge 1030 ahead of Eurobike. They didn’t. It is now here though, so we’ll move on and start raving about the new Polar at Kona…

I would argue that Garmin messed up even worse than I did in this case, though. On 23rd August, Wahoo announced some new features for their computers. No new device, but some significant catchup and levelling of the playing field. These devices are very compelling and are now probably the most serious competitor to Garmin. Add a colour screen and we’ll most likely see an exodus due to their reputation for great support and constant improvement.

Why does that affect Garmin? Firstly, it was announced before the Edge 1030 and before Eurobike so people were seeing it on its own and not surrounded by other noise. Secondly, looking at dcrainmaker.com there was then a gap of several days while Ray (presumably) prepared for Eurobike. That left the Wahoo news front and centre for 5 days. 5 days of people looking at the news. 5 days, arguably some of the highest traffic days while people check for Eurobike news, of nothing to look at but Wahoo. Clever peeps.

What happenned when Garmin did their big reveal the day before Eurobike? The news the Internet has been waiting for for well over a year? They got a couple of hours. Yup, another big competitor stole the front page a few hours later and put in a reduction in price on the Powertap P1 pedals, equaling the price of the just announced Vector 3. More importantly burying the news of the Vector 3 on all of the news sites.

It’s not just one site either, it’s all of them. Ray isn’t picking and choosing when to post this stuff, he posts when he’s told to post or he loses early access to products. He’s had the Edge 1030 for “quite a while”, enough to do a detailed review, and yet Garmin were only main news for a few hours. I’m sure the review will still get record traffic on the site, it’s a Garmin after all. The question, though, is why allow the opposition so much air time?

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10 comments on “Dropping the ball
  1. tfk says:

    the new device was the ELEMNT BOLT
    also, as you say, workouts were recently fully supported by wahoo. this now gives them a proper ‘pro’ offering
    also now there is KICKR CLIMB again a ‘pro’ offering coinciding with a slightly refreshed KICKR17 (https://the5krunner.com/2017/08/30/review-wahoo-kickr-3-2017-a-detailed-look-from-a-smart-trainer-newbie/)
    Ray could probably post when he wants to, he respects (toes the line) of the marketeers
    I think your site (and mine to a lesser degree) stoke up interest to then get people to look at Ray’s reviews. key elements of our readerships are the same people.

  2. Ben says:

    Put that way, why does anyone announce anything at big trade shows? The news just gets buried by everyone else’s announcement. That’s probably one of the reasons Apple doesn’t do trade shows, so they can control the news coverage.

    • lusty says:

      It’s convenient to show up and have a bunch of reporters come to you. For Garmin though, they don’t need to do that as they’ll get coverage anyway. For smaller players it’s a definite boost to get all the press coming and looking at your stuff among the masses, and they may not otherwise get coverage. The big guys though would benefit from picking their moment as Wahoo did here. They got a lot of people seeing their news even just from people looking for a Garmin announcement, and THAT is clever marketing. The very people they want to poach were staring at their news for 5 days and contemplating whether the Wahoo could replace that buggy old Garmin…

      • Ben says:

        I can see that. But I doubt it’s a big deal. A lot of people will be searching for bike related products in the coming weeks and months and won’t care about the timing of these announcements. They’ll find the press releases and reviews just like always. Unless they come across this post they’d never know about the power meter pr coup of 2017.

  3. Ben says:

    the user manual for the vivoactive3 is online at the FCC. basically it’s everything I expected in the 645 + NFC payments.
    https://fccid.io/IPH-03190/Users-Manual/User-Manual-3535111

  4. Robert C says:

    Thanks very much for this. Very handy. Pity it does not appear to have the Virtual Racer.

    • Ben says:

      I don’t see why someone couldn’t write an app for that. In fact, I’m surprised no one has. I’ll have to look through the developer docs to see if it’s possible.

    • Ben says:

      I checked and there are in fact several Virtual Pacer apps on the Connect IQ store.

  5. Eli says:

    The price seems strange too. Lower the 520 price to better go against the bolt but the 1000 replacement goes up by $100? Doesn’t seem like the 1030 changed that much. Or even take existing features from other garmin devices like magnetic compass like all the watches (at least the fr920 and 935), weather radar overlay from the Oregon would be nice but of course the fitness and outdoors teams don’t seem to share.

    No new ConnectIQ functionality, just a slightly different size screen and seems like the same core hardware (cpu, ram) as the 1000.

    • Jeff F says:

      Eli, I saw your post on DCR about the RAM but how do you know the cpu is the same? Any benchmarks out there yet?

      Hard to imagine no cpu improvements in 3 years 🙁

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