Why Android Wear isn’t dead just yet


Google’s Android Wear smartwatch platform isn’t dead. It’s just pivoting from a do-everything experience on your wrist to one that’s better customized for your own fashion and lifestyle.

That’s good because I don’t want a world where the Apple Watch is the only smartwatch that matters. It’d be too dystopian.

No matter how much you might adore your Apple Watch, the Samsung Gear S3 or LG Watch Style smartwatches can be described in a single word: disappointing.

The smartwatch market declined by 51.6 percent in Q3 of last year, resulting in a year-over-year drop in volume, according to IDC. The only one reportedly thriving is Apple Watch. But still, as a product category smartwatches simply haven’t lived up to expectations.

Tech companies are giving up

Tech titans that were first to champion Android Wear and challenge the Apple Watch have largely given up on making smartwatches.

Motorola and Huawei both announced they have no plans to release new models soon. Huawei’s CEO Eric Xu Zhijun said in April that smartwatches are essentially pointless. “I am always confused as to what smartwatches are for when we have smartphones.” This is the company that released the Huawei Watch, the first promising and fashion-oriented Android Wear smartwatch.

Asus, one of the last of the well-known consumer electronics companies that supported Android Wear, is reportedly planning to axe its ZenWatch smartwatches altogether.

And Samsung hasn’t supported Android Wear since its one-off Gear Live in 2014, instead choosing to iterate on its Tizen-based Gear S smartwatches.

LG’s the only one that’s still batting for Android Wear, but it can’t save it. The company’s Watch Sport and Watch Style released last year haven’t moved the needle at all.

With everyone tossing in the towel, you’d be forgiven for thinking smartwatches are over.