Rumour: HTC's Smartwatch Due First Week Of June

Android Wear is a modified version of the Android operating system designed for small, wearable devices. It's so far been used for a number of smartwatches from popular Android manufacturers such as Huawei, Motorola, Samsung, Sony and ASUS. One manufacturer absent from the list is HTC, which certainly seems as a disappointment. HTC's cornerstone in recent years has been the design of their devices, both the software and hardware: it would be interesting to see what their team could make of a smartwatch design. However, over the months we have seen various rumours but no device release. One rumour was that HTC had scrapped their smartwatch design, presumably because there is little HTC can add to the existing models over hardware design: Google lock down the Android Wear software, which doesn't allow manufacturers to inject any of their special sauce as HTC do with their smartphones. However, persistent rumours continued suggesting that HTC had not scrapped their smartwatch but were putting it on ice, perhaps waiting for the wearable market to settle down.

One of these rumours was that HTC were to release their first wearable Android Wear device at the end of April 2016. April has come and gone and there's still no HTC wearable, but popular leaker, Evan Blass, tweeted that the launch of HTC's smartwatch has been put back to the first week in June - which followed a Tweet in April stating that the device would be released by the end of the month. The first week in June is a little over a month away so if this is true, we may start seeing other rumours in the coming days.

For HTC, the decision about releasing a wearable device must be difficult. Sales of wearable devices are much lower than smartphones and they are considered a more niche product, but the devices will appeal to a hard core cache of HTC fans. We have seen manufacturers optimising the software on their device to work especially well with their own branded smartwatch and here HTC could add some value without disturbing the Android Wear code on the wearable. Against these opportunities, there are considerable costs with designing and manufacturing a product, then bringing it to the market: HTC's business has been under immense pressure through falling sales and revenues and building a smartwatch could very easily become an additional financial burden.

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David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.
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