2015 saw the release of some of the best Android Wear smartwatches and left enthusiasts looking forward to the possibilities for 2016. 2016 arrived and there hasn’t been nearly as much going on in the world of Android Wear as we expected. Granted, Google released Android Wear 2.0 which increased functionality and brought features that users had been asking for. Regardless, we’ve only seen one major manufacturer release an Android Wear device in 2016.
Huawei, LG, and Motorola are the “Big Three” behind Android Wear’s continued support and have released smartwatches for consumers over the last few years. However, this year is going to be a bit different as the three companies have announced they will not be releasing any new smartwatches until at least 2017.
At IFA 2016, we were wondering if Huawei and Motorola/Lenovo would bring updated versions of the Huawei Watch and Moto 360, but were left a bit disappointed. ASUS released its newest ZenWatch which runs Android Wear, and Samsung introduced the Gear S3 (which doesn’t), but that was it. And LG released its latest smartwatch in the first half of 2016, but is opting to not release another option this fall.
The biggest reason stated in the report by CNet for these manufacturers not releasing new Android Wear smartwatches seems to be a bit of stagnation. This shows that although there is still interest in Android Wear and smartwatches in general, it’s not as much as it once was, especially even after Apple saw a drop of 55% in shipments of the first generation Apple Watch.
Hopefully things pick up in 2017, but it’s all going to depend on the market, and if people continue to focus on fitness trackers/wearables, Android Wear and smartwatches may be dead in the water.