Google wants to reassure users that smart wearables are still in demand and for that purpose, the company has announced that two flagship smartwatches will be launched next year, sometime during the first quarter, says Android Wear product manager Jeff Chang. Furthermore, the head of Android Wear also said that the units will run on Android Wear 2.0 and will be the first smartwatches to feature the new platform.
Rumors about Google’s next generation wearables started to emerge earlier this year. However, the company has officially made the announcement on December 22nd, reassuring consumers that smartwatches, more specifically, are still in great demand, at the same time.
While some would think that the new units will be feature Pixel or Google branding, the company said that its partner, who remains anonymous at this point, will have the privilege. However, Jeff Chang says that Google has previously worked with the mysterious manufacturer in the past on other Android Wear projects in terms of software integration, as well as design for the smartwatches. As far as the collaboration levels and goals are concerned, Mr. Chang has compared the Google’s current partnership with the Nexus smartphone program.
While the news is thrilling, Google is far from taking the leadership. The market for smart wearables, smartwatches, in particular, has been experiencing a rather rough patch lately. At this moment, Apple seems to have taken the industry while still in its infancy and ran away with it. Samsung is the only competitor on the horizon. For many years, Fitbit has been the uncontested leader in the fitness trackers industry. However, with the company purchasing Pebble, it seems that it will also move in into the smartwatch market, as well.
Even though the new units Google intends to roll out next year feature some new applications that do not necessarily depend on the smartwatches being paired to a handset, Android Wear’s performances up to this point have been far from stellar. Adding that to the number of users who are gradually swaying away from the wearable industry, Google’s new products, even though marketed as revolutionary, will probably not make such a huge difference as the company expects. Nevertheless, Jeff Chang is optimistic about the prospects of smartwatches.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint. This category of product is here with us to stay”, says Jeff Chang.
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