Just last week, Apple announced the Series 2 of the Apple Watch that is scheduled to be released this Friday, Sept. 16. As the tech giant’s own smartwatch is ready to hit the market, Google’s Android Wear technology won’t be making much of the impact for the rest of 2016.
Google’s OEM partners for Android Wear smartwatches LG, Huawei and Motorola have confirmed that they will not be releasing new smartwatches for this year, according to CNET. Last year, all three of these companies launched their own respective Android Wear smartwatches during the month of September at the IFA conference in Berlin. At this year’s IFA, Asus was the only one to come out with a new smartwatch, the ZenWatch 3.
The withdrawal of the three companies from releasing new smartwatches this fall signals the decline of enthusiasm for smartwatches. It’s almost been a year since Huawei and Motorola released a new version of their Android Wear smartwatches, while LG only released the second version of the Watch Urbane this past March.
The general lack of interest in smartwatches isn’t just from manufacturers, consumers are still skeptical about the usefulness of the technology with most of them preferring fitness trackers. Companies are having a difficult time to turn these devices into a necessity like smartphones. They’re still unable to integrate an LTE radio inside these watches without compromising the size/design and battery life, as pointed out by Digital Trends.
Although Apple is currently leading in the smartwatch market, sales have fallen by 55 percent from last year. The tech giant is looking to change its luck with the release of the Apple Watch Series 2 by adding a GPS tracker and a waterproof design.
With Google’s three biggest partners backing out from releasing new smartwatches this fall, Android Wear is in trouble at a time when the second iteration of the software is expected to be released soon. There are rumors that Google is planning on releasing its own smartwatch alongside its new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones this October, but that is just highly unlikely. Consumers should expect new smartwatches from LG, Huawei and Motorola at CES in January 2017, according to Android Police.