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Snap will expand distribution of Spectacles in 2017, but hardware remains an experiment

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Snap, Inc. just released its IPO and there’s a lot to take away, but from a hardware perspective there’s not much present – which is actually telling in itself. The S-1 filing contains a few references to Spectacles, but they don’t suggest Snap’s view of itself as a camera company leans very heavily on its hardware products or pipeline. But that could still change, as it says it plans to expand distribution of Spectacles over the course of 2017.

In an introductory note breaking down aspects of its business, Snap does refer to Spectacles, its video-capturing sunglasses, as its “latest effort to reinvent the camera, but in a section immediately following that about its overarching strategy and opportunity emphasizes the broad availability of software products as a strength.

It also talks about Spectacles as an example of an effort to introduce “new and unproven products” involving technologies “with which we have little or no prior development or operating experience,” and says that Spectacles, which thus far have been sold via pop-ups only, “has not generated significant revenue” for the company.

Spectacles still sound very much like they’re in the experiment phase for Snap, as it say that the company “made, and expect to continue to make, significant investments to develop and launch Spectacles and we are not yet able to determine whether users will purchase or use Spectacles in the future.”

But there are signs that the experiment is going well, and could be subject to considerable expansion in the upcoming year. It sounds like we might see more traditional distribution models replace the pop-up mode, reading between the lines… Read More

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