Don’t expect to see any of Google’s biggest Android Wear partners such as LG, Lenovo, or Huawei release any new smartwatches before 2017. The three biggest Android Wear manufacturers have confirmed to CNET that no new hardware will be announced in 2016. This leaves LG the only company out of the three that has released a smartwatch this year.
Companies usually release their new devices at IFA, but this year, no follow-up to the Huawei Watch or third generation Moto 260 were released. So why are they hesitant to release new Android Wear hardware? There are a number of factors that contribute including the inability to include an LTE radio without the severe trade-offs to battery and bulk, and the fact that Apple has been unable to turn the smartwatch industry into a money-making machine like they did with their iPhone’s and iPad’s so far. And according to research firm CSS Insight, consumers would also rather spend their money on cheaper fitness bands than expensive smartwatches.
The smartwatch industry hasn’t been able to attract the average consumer yet, as Samsung admitted to CNET that most smartwatch owners are male early adopters. This might be because smartwatches look like functional gadgets rather than interesting accessories, which is what traditional watchmakers found out about 75 years ago.
It’s also concerning that Android Wear 2.0 might be released this fall and it’s possible that there are no plans to release new smartwatches with the software from Google’s biggest partners. There have been rumors of a Nexus smartwatch, but it’s not entirely possible that Google would be the only major Android Wear hardware this year.
It shows that Google might have to do some work with its Android Wear partners to keep them interested and produce new smartwatches, but it doesn’t sound like these problems will affect Samsung or Apple, which are both clearly sticking to their announcement schedules, unveiling the Gear S3 and Apple Watch Series 2 within only a week of each other.
Apple and Samsung are both looking for new possible revenue forms and they are hoping the smartwatch can hopefully be one of them. It’s still uncertain whether the two companies can attract attentions of the usual consumer just like they did with the iPhone and Galaxy line of smartphones without a complete design change of their smartwatch devices.