At this point in the market, we agree that there isn’t a dominate platform for 3rd parties to develop their own Smartwatches with, however, Wear OS is the closest thing to that, and overall we actually like the platform, just not a lot of the hardware thus far. We reported that OnePlus was teasing their own Smartwatch to launch alongside the new OnePlus 9, we can now confirm it will launch and it will NOT have Wear OS.
CEO of OnePlus Pete Lau has confirmed that OnePlus will release the much-requested device, however, it will be running a custom RTOS or Real-Time Operating System. While we can’t fault the desire to bring a device to market with smoother performance and longer battery life, this feels a little bit like an ecosystem play to us.
OnePlus has said that the device will be compatible with their phones and TV’s, both of which run on top of Android, however, there was no mention of supporting other Android phones, so they may be following in Apple’s ecosystem lock-in foot steeps. The other missing element from the watch will be 3rd party apps and services.
Wear OS for its faults, and neglectful abandonment by Google does offer a ready out of the box ecosystem of apps, services and watch faces that some developers are still investing in. I think One plus missed an opportunity to bolster Wear OS up, as the rising tide lifts all boats.
With OnePlus basically ignoring the Australian market officially this technically won’t be an issue for us regardless. Would you buy a OnePLus watch running a custom RTOS that only worked in their walled Garden?