Lenovo previously stated that it won’t be releasing a Motorola smartwatch for the remainder of 2016. Earlier today, the company also confirmed that it won’t be launching a smartwatch in 2017 despite the release of Google’s Android Wear 2.0 software.
Moto’s head of global product development, Shakil Barkat, said that the company doesn’t “see enough pull in the market to put [a new smartwatch] out this time,” but it might change its mind once smartwatch technology has already improved, according to The Verge.
Barkat also explained that wearables don’t have broad enough appeal for the company to be motivated enough to continue putting out new smartwatches every year. However, he did say that a new Motorola smartwatch might come in the future as they believe that “the wrist still has value.”
Based on those statements, it seems like Lenovo has decided to halt its efforts in making smartwatches indefinitely. The last time the company released a smartwatch was the upgraded version of the Moto 360 back in 2015. A lot of people expected that a successor would arrive this year, but that never happened.
With Lenovo Motorola backing away from smartwatches, it looks like Google is in trouble. Google will be releasing Android Wear 2.0 next year and it just lost a manufacturer that could have made a brand new smartwatch to best show off the new software. The 2015 Moto 360 will be receiving the Android Wear 2.0 upgrade, but a two-year old device in 2017 isn’t really the best way to promote the new software.
Google is already in a tough spot, with other big name manufacturers like Samsung abandoning Android Wear in favor of its own proprietary software. Manufacturers preferred using their own software simply because they have more freedom in doing what they please.
Android Wear 2.0 was also supposed to come out this fall, but it was later delayed to early 2017. This clearly didn’t help Google in convincing manufacturers to stick around. Huawei and LG have stated previously that they won’t be making Android Wear devices this year, with Huawei currently rumored to completely abandon the software.
Despite all these, it does appear that Google isn’t giving up on Android Wear. Sources have indicated that Google is considering on making its own smartwatch very much akin to the way it made its own smartphone this year, according to Business Inasider.