Even before Android Wear 2.0 was delayed, partners like Huawei, LG, and Motorola announced that they would not release new smartwatches this year. It now seems that the Lenovo-owned company won’t be releasing a new wearable for the launch of the updated OS either.
Speaking to The Verge, head of Global Product Development at Motorola and Lenovo’s mobile group Shakil Barkat noted that there isn’t “enough pull in the market to put [a new smartwatch] out at this time.” Without Moto, Google will be without a longtime partner for Wear 2.0’s release in early 2017.
He goes on to say that “wearables do not have broad enough appeal for us to continue to build on it year after year.” Currently, Moto’s line-up only consists of the 2nd generation Moto 360. The Moto 360 Sport announced at the same time was discontinued in just five short months.
The refreshed OS focuses on making the smartwatch completely independent from phones with cellular capabilities and other features that can be directly controlled from the wrist. Additionally, it brings improvements for messaging, customization, and fitness. Check out our hands-on with an early version of the OS.
The lack of a new Moto device at or around the launch of Android Wear 2.0 is a particular blow to Google’s wearable platform that has only seen lack luster releases in the past year from Nixon, Michael Kors, and Polar. It probably doesn’t help the situation that Google is rumored to announce its own Android Wear watches, that would compete with those from OEMs early next year.
All this said, Moto still thinks that the wrist “has value and there will be a point where they provide value to consumers more than they do today.” So it seems like, in the long run, we will eventually still see Moto introduce another wearable product.
These comments come as Fitbit is rumored to purchase smartwatch marker Pebble.