ASUS may be planning to ditch its ZenWatch line of Android Wear smartwatches pretty soon, if a report published earlier today by Digitimes is anything to go by. According to the report, ASUS’ smartwatch business hasn’t been nearly as successful as the company would have hoped for, with the company only managing to sell about 5,000-6,000 of its ZenWatch devices per month. While ASUS’ ZenFone line of smartphones and ZenBook line of laptops have proven to be fairly popular among customers, the company has seemingly failed to replicate that success with its smartwatch line, selling far fewer ZenWatch devices than what it would have bargained for when it entered the industry three years ago. The low sales numbers are apparently making the business unviable, which is why the company is believed to be considering the drastic step of discontinuing the product line going forward.
It is important to note here that ASUS is not the only Android Wear vendor that’s struggling with its smartwatch business. In fact, if the report does turn out to be true, the Taiwanese tech giant would be the second high-profile company to have ditched its smartwatch business in recent times, with Motorola announcing late last year that it is putting off its smartwatch development indefinitely. With smartwatches remaining a relatively niche product category, Android Wear vendors have been the worst hit, with Apple and Samsung - neither of whom use Google’s wearable OS in their devices - emerging as the top two vendors in the industry. While Apple uses its proprietary WatchOS in its devices, Samsung uses the Linux-based Tizen OS in its Gear range of smartwatches.
However, even as Android Wear remains the operating system of choice for a number of global electronics behemoths like Sony, LG and Huawei, the entire eco-system continues to struggle from lack of developer support, mainly because of the lukewarm response to smartwatches from mainstream consumers. As for ASUS, the company announced its first-ever ZenWatch back in 2014, and unveiled its third-generation ZenWatch at the IFA 2016 trade show last September in Berlin, Germany. The ZenWatch 3 features a 1.39-inch circular AMOLED display and, is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 chip that was released by the American chipmaker specifically for wearable devices. The ZenWatch 3 also comes with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of onboard storage.