More Android Wear Smartwatches On the Way
For most of 2015 the Apple Watch has held the spotlight but the lucrative holiday shopping season is coming and there are more wearables about to make their debuts. According to a report from CNET, four major names in tech will be introducing their latest smartwatches at next week’s IFA electronics trade show in Berlin.
Asus, Huawei, LG and Motorola all have new smartwatches running Google’s Android Wear ready to go head-to-head with Apple’s pricey wearable. Since more smartphones are running Android than Apple’s iOS, that should give these new devices a leg up on the competition but only time will tell whether Android Wear smartwatches will find an audience.
Google introduced Android Wear last year as a version of Android designed to work with smartwatches and other wearables but early devices running the software have met with a tepid reception. The first devices using Android Wear from LG, Motorola and Samsung made their debut in June 2014 but have so far failed to catch on.
According to the market research firm Canalys, 4.6 million wearable devices were shipped in 2014 but only 720,000 of them ran Android Wear. It probably didn’t help that industry leader Samsung, which was responsible for three out of four smartwatches shipped in 2014, preferred to use its own Tizen software rather than Android Wear.
The release of the Apple Watch has raised the stakes and now other tech names are trying to play catch-up. Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawson summed up the problem they face. “Apple Watch has clearly raised the bar for the global smartwatch industry. The ball is now in the court of rivals, like Samsung, to respond.”
We will find out how they plan to respond when we get our first look at their new devices next week.