Google’s smartwatch ambitions have hit a speedbump, with some of the biggest Android Wear smartwatch makers opting not to release new devices later this year.
As originally reported by CNET’s Roger Cheng, LG, Huawei, and Lenovo’s Motorola are all not launching new smartwatches later this year. Last year, all three companies unveiled new devices in the Autumn. (It is worth noting that LG did bring out a new Android Wear smartwatch earlier this year.)
Meanwhile, Samsung, which has made Android Wear smartwatches in the past, has opted for its own operating system (called Tizen) for its latest device, the S3.
So why the change of tack? An LG spokesperson told CNET that the company wants to “see what sticks” with consumers. And an unnamed Huawei exec said that it is waiting “for the components to shrink and for the processor to gain efficiency before moving forward.”
Basically, smartwatches have so far failed to set the world on fire. They have been heavily touted by the tech giants as the Next Big Thing, but consumers aren’t adopting them at any great speed. Take the Apple Watch: With the launch of its second iteration earlier in September, Apple focused much more heavily on its fitness functionality — one area that smartwatches have proved successful in.
Data from research firm IDC published in July found that in Q2 2016, smartwatch sales have declined year-on-year for the first time. Part of this will be down to a change in Apple’s scheduling — it launched the first Apple Watch in April 2015, but the second iteration wasn’t announced until September 2016 (which also explains why it saw a drastic 55% drop-off in sales).
But it’s still a worrying sign for a technology still in its infancy.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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