According to various sources that spoke with CNET, some of Google’s larger Android Wear partners, including LG, Huawei and Motorola – aka Lenovo – have no plans to release any new Android Wear devices this year.
The companies are reportedly taking a watch and wait attitude when it comes to Android Wear and the future of devices in this category.
We were a little surprised that Moto and Huawei didn’t bring new Android Wear devices to IFA 2016 as they chose that event to launch their offerings last year.
Whilst LG technically re-released the LG Watch Urbane LTE this year it could be argued that was a delayed launch due to the technical issues LG had with launching the product the first time around. Where does that leave us with Android Wear? Despite these OEMs not offering any Android Wear devices there has never been more choice in the Android Wear space.
Let’s take a quick look at the Android Wear devices that have come out this year (we won’t count the LG Urbane)
|Manafacture||Device||Available in Australia|
I don’t know about you but that looks to be a pretty impressive list. The other interesting feature is that this list of watches is dominated by… watch makers. Could it be that Watchmakers make better watches than Smartphone companies? With the Snapdragon reference platform and Google’s stock controlled Android Wear software experience it’s a perfect combination for turnkey electronics with real watch design and crafting. That said the ZenWatch 3 is simply stunning and I am simply bursting with anticipation to see it.
Sure it would be better if all of the major players in the space were releasing new devices this year, but perhaps they know something we don’t? Perhaps there is a hardware change on the horizon that the OEMs didn’t want to release a device without? Could it be that with Google rumoured to be releasing two smartwatches soon that the OEMs didn’t feel the need to push new devices or compete with them? Or, they could possibly be waiting on the arrival of Android Wear 2.0 which should launch in the next month.
I don’t think we will ever know. Smartwatches in general are a nascent category and it is highly likely that the demand for them has stagnated a little – a watch is after all supposed to last for some time.
With more Android Wear devices on the market, with more devices appearing in “normal” shops than ever before, time will be the judge of the category – hence the watch and wait attitude of LG, Huawei, Moto etc.
As the platform iterates more useful features will emerge then again for me Time, notification, message triage and reply and media control are excellent, all it needs is, you guessed it NFC payments.
I for one hope Android Wear lives on, I wear mine daily and love it for all manner of interactions, I will turn my car back around if I’ve left it behind, apparently that’s the ultimate test. That said I’m an edge case, and so are most of use here.
Do you want or have and Android Wear device? Let us know what Wear needs to do to get on your wrist.