New Huawei Smartwatches Coming, But Not Anytime Soon: CEO

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Huawei CEO Richard Yu has now indicated via an interview that the company does not plan to release a new smartwatch unless both battery life and performance can be significantly improved, according to recent reports. In fact, the company's top executive says that the battery in its next smartwatch preferably needs to last at least a week, compared to the apparent two-day maximum average for Wear OS wearables. Performance needs to be boosted simultaneously and even the most modern wearable silicon doesn't seem to meet Huawei's requirements. In fact, The CEO took the opportunity to explain that it had been in talks with Qualcomm and that a new chip will be essential to meeting its goals. What's more, Yu says that AI in a wearable chipset would be preferred since it would help make key features much more efficient. Given the claimed performance of the latest chipsets developed by Huawei's subsidiary HiSilicon – namely, the Kirin 980 – that new wearable SoC could ultimately end up being developed by Huawei itself.

Having said that, unless HiSilicon has already begun the process of creating a brand new chip for a wearable or converting its Kirin SoC for use in one, that isn't likely to happen for quite some time. Conversely, Qualcomm's most up-to-date wearable SoC, the Snapdragon Wear 3100, isn't expected to launch until September. That's approaching nearly three years after its previous entry in the smartwatch market, the Snapdragon Wear 2100, was brought forward. The company hasn't publicly revealed any solid information about that chipset with the exception of hinting that it would be built on the same process node as its predecessor but more energy efficient. That might improve performance as well but there's no guarantee it will live up to Huawei's expectations. If that's the case, it might be years before the leading smartwatch SoC manufacturer releases another one.

On the other hand, there's also no guarantee that Huawei has been given many details about that new wearable chip either. While the company's lead representative appears adamant that the Huawei brand will not be used on any new smartwatches until the tech catches up with its aspirations, Qualcomm's new entry may meet its requirements.

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