New Google smartwatches coming next year: Will they revive failing watch category?
Google will launch two smartwatches next year.
They will come without the Pixel branding, but there is no word on who will build them.
Will these smartwatches help bring to life the failing smartwatch category?
After a no-show this year, Google is expected to launch not one but two smartwatches running Android Wear 2.0 next year.
The piece of news comes from Product Manager Jeff Chang, who confirmed to TheVerge, the launch of two smartwatches that won't come with the Pixel branding. These watches will be branded by the company building them. However, there is no mention of the manufacturer or any partnership yet. As these devices hit store shelves, one can expect previous smartwatches to also get the Android Wear 2.0 update.
Android 2.0 would bring a host of refreshing features including support for Android Pay, Google Assistant, and one will reportedly find differences between Wear 2.0 on Android and iOS. The company reportedly said that it is committed to support and promote the new launches in order to give a push to this segment.
Needless to say, the smartwatches segment hasn't been able to take off as expected. Google had a poor start as out of the 4.6 million smartwatches shipped in 2014 only 720000 were running Android Wear. In 2015, Apple Watch seemed like a ray of hope that dominated the space with 12 million units, which accounted to about two-thirds of all the shipments.
However, the numbers haven’t grown, and rather been falling down a slippery slope. The Q3 2016 IDC report was further disappointing that showed 51.6 percent decline in the smart watch shipments. Recently, FitBit bought the once-popular yet failing Pebble, while Apple Watch 2 came without the rumoured and highly anticipated cellular connectivity.
There are several reasons why a smartwatch, particularly as a category, hasn’t taken off well. They still work as an extension of your phones with a price tag attached being too high. Moreover, it has failed to convince users, except fitness freaks, why they would really need one. This is unlike, the tablet segment, that was a big hit before hitting the roadblock. This seems like Google's attempt at reviving the smartwatch segment, but only time will prove if smartwatches can become a solid consumer tech category.