We’ve seen dozens of smartwatches hit the market over the past couple years, but none of them have yet to be a real runaway hit. Just about every major OEM has one on the market, so with all of those options out there, it’s tough for smaller companies to get their chance in the game — or at least, that’s what OnePlus thinks.
According to OnePlus CEO Pete Lau, the company not only was considering a smartwatch, they also had a completed design. But as we know, they decided not to release it (via WSJ).
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Lau said at the recent Converge conference in Hong Kong that “we had completed the design but we still decided to scrap it. We have to be focused.” In a way this makes sense. With their flagship smartphones doing well and considering the small they were (and, at least relatively, still are), stretching resources for a form factor which has a market which is “cruel”, as Lau described it, just wouldn’t have been a smart move.
Expanding on why they don’t plan on the release, Lau noted the intense Chinese market. To succeed, Pete Lau believes that they need to focus on what they’re already doing and continue to push sales outside of the Chinese market. Even though China’s smartphone market is the largest in the world today, it is slowing down considerably as of late. By pushing sales out of their home country, OnePlus has a strong chance of sticking around for the forseeable future.
Once things calm down at home, then they can consider other, arguably more risky products including smartwatches. Perhaps waiting also gives the wearable space time to mature.