HTC’s Chairperson Cher Wang has confirmed the company is working on a smartwatch, and it’ll be on sale before the end of the year. Apparently, it’s not a new project, and has been worked on by the company for several years. However, it’s only now it’s seeing breakthroughs in certain difficult areas, which she called “Customer-centric problems.”
In an interview with Bloomberg, Wang seemed hopeful that the time for wearables is coming.
“Many years ago we started looking at smartwatches and wearables, but we believe that we really have to solve the battery problems and the LCD light problems.” These two issues are related, and are common complaints made by smartwatch owners. A bright, color LCD screen puts considerable strain on the battery, which must be small and light enough to be used in a wearable device. It’s catch 22.
However, if HTC can overcome these two problems in a creative and acceptable way, then the resulting product could be a hit. HTC’s Chief Financial Officer, Chang Chialin, feels the same way, indicating the watch and 2014’s flagship Android phone – currently known as the HTC M8 or the One+ – will be instrumental in turning around the company’s fortunes. He’s quoted in the interview saying, “2013 wasn’t a very good year for HTC, we have to admit we took our eyes somewhat off the ball.”
Things took such a turn that rumors spread of a possible company sale, but according to Cher Wang, she has never discussed or held talks regarding an acquisition. “I think they didn’t approach me because I think they know me and they know I am not going to sell,” she says.
The latest rumors put the launch date for the One’s sequel around March, meaning it will come after the Samsung Galaxy S5 (arguably it’s greatest competition) makes its debut. Last year, the HTC One was released before, and subsequently eclipsed by, Samsung’s Galaxy S4, despite being better looking and comparable in terms of specs. If all goes to plan with the watch, we should look out for it in the months leading up to the Christmas rush.