Such a serious question!
This month, a big event happened in the balanced car industry. If you guess that it’s ‘Mi’ invested in ‘Ninebot’,
then you're wrong. What shocked the whole balanced car industry was the announcement on the same day
that ‘Segway’ was acquired 100%. While sighing for the resale of its earliest ancestors , the booming Chinese
self-balancing scooter industry was also thinking about a question: Why on earth can't Segway survive anymore?
Enough analytical articles comment that like market positioning too high to be popular, too expensive, etc . But
I want to say a word that has been stuck in my mind for a long time, that is, don’t you think that the designer has
made Segway's wheel too big?
In other words, Segway has a narrow market because it's too bulky.
Riding a Segway scooter is really fun & easy, but moving the power off Segway into the warehouse or into the trunk of the car is
never a pleasant experience. Take their common i2 products for example. The wheel diameter is 48cm and can't be put into the
trunk. If count battery weight, then it weighs up to 47.7kg, and you can imagine it’s like you moving a bulky 50kgs stone around.
Oversize & overweight are obstacles to Segway's popularizing among folks. Because the storage , carrying and
handling of Segway are extremely inconvenient when it’s applied to the situations of "the last 1 kilometer after
getting off bus or metro” and a short trip of 0 to 5km. That is why Segway's main market has remained in "official
domain" for more than ten years since its inception. You know, policemen and security guards are strong enough
to carry them, and golf caddies and warehouse managers never worry about where to park their Segway scooters.
Segway was once cheaply copied by numerous Chinese manufacturers, even in a 1-1 forged way. But these manufacturers
soon found out that they would face the same market dilemma as Segway. Some Chinese manufacturers with strong R&D
capabilities clearly have a more accurate sense of the application scenarios and market positioning of the two-wheel self-
balancing scooters. They make the wheels smaller, the body lighter, and space coverage is also minimized as much as possible,
just do every effort towards the direction of "portable" convenience.
For example, the famous brand 'INMOTION' best-selling two-wheel scooter product, R1, weighs only 16.5 km and diameter of
only 19 cm. Even with batteries, an adult male can easily lift it. Its fast folding design makes it easy to be put into the trunk of a
car, and its coverage space is only one-foot square. You can put it on the corner of the balcony if don’t need it. Undoubtedly,
these user-friendly designs are of great incentives to the expansion of the private market, because their "very portable" feature
is highly compatible with the application scenarios of short trips and automobile connections which earned ‘INMOTION’ 60%
We must admit that "small size" comes at cost. Small wheels mean the sacrifice of trafficability and off-road performance, and
the lower capacity battery packs designed for lightweight will degrade certain driving performance. These two performances are
particularly prominent in Segway. Then the question arises, to choose mighty performance or light & portable? Do you want to
go cross-country or just replace walking conveniently? In fact, the market has already given the answer.