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Some Manufacturers Supposedly Giving Up on Android Wear

March 20, 2015 - Written By Nick Sutrich

For their part smartwatches haven’t been quite the trend setting next big thing that manufacturers were hoping.  When the Pebble kicked off the smartwatch phenomenon over two years ago it set many manufacturers in action, causing them to start their own projects in an effort to capture a new market that could be truly huge.  Many people wear watches on a regular basis and it makes sense for those watches to be able to receive notifications from our phones and do other tasks that are simple and quick.  Samsung started things off in 2013 with its Galaxy Gear, and although it went on to make a half-dozen other Gear devices none of them have sold gangbusters compared to smartphone sales.   Samsung selling 1.2 million smartwatches in 2014 to be the biggest manufacturer in the 6.8 million total smartwatches sold throughout the year.

With this growth momentum from nothing to 6.8 million sold in a year you’d think manufacturers would double down on watches in 2015 and work on growing it even more.  According to Business Korea, however, this is definitely not the case, or at least isn’t the case with Android Wear.  Google’s Android Wear platform has been the center of attention since being announced over a year ago and launching its first products in the early summer of 2014.  Since then there have been around a dozen total Android Wear watches either launched or announced with plenty more seemingly to come.  We’ve even seen some really huge watch makers such as Fossil and Tag Heuer join Google in making new Android Wear watches, which as of yesterday spelled some really big news for the platform’s future.

This report from Business Korea seemingly comes out of left field and alleges that Samsung, LG and Sony are all stepping out of the Android Wear game and into other platforms.  This appears to be speculation on their part rather than any solid news, as there are no direct quotes or links to press releases confirming the news.  Huawei’s Vice President Yang Yong recently talked about Android Wear not being as open as Android and needing more customization, and that “Google’s stubborn nature is killing Android Wear.”  This is certainly not a confirmation of a company that’s only just announced their first Android Wear smartwatch stepping out of the business, nor of their competitors.  Google has changes to make but the ones it’s held fast on are in order to keep everyone’s watches working without worrying about updates as people do on their phones.  Whether or not Google responds to these allegations will need to be seen, but we feel they have little weight behind them.