Shakil Barkat, corporate vice president of Wearables and Product Development at Motorola, tells the Verge that the company doesn’t “see enough pull in the market to put [a smartwatch] out at this time.” Barkat did not rule it out completely, but he said Motorola will wait for wrist-based technology to improve.
“Wearables do not have broad enough appeal for us to continue to build on it year after year,” Barkat said, according to the Verge.
Android Wear has been lagging far behind its competitors this year — hardly any new smartwatches were released running Google’s operating system. Manufacturers may be waiting for the big revamp coming in Android Wear 2.0, which has been delayed until early 2017. Google is also rumored to be working on two new smartwatches to debut alongside the latest iteration of the OS.
The original Moto 360 debuted in 2014 and was followed up by a second generation model in 2015 — both devices have been received positively. Smartwatch sales have been lackluster, however, and Apple has been dominating the market with the Apple Watch. An October 2016 report by the International Data Corporation found that smartwatch shipments in the third quarter dropped 51.6 percent year over year — from 5.6 million to 2.7 million.
Behind Apple, which only shipped 1.1 million smartwatches in the third quarter of 2016, is Garmin, followed by Samsung. These numbers do not take into account Samsung’s new Gear S3 smartwatch, and the report only takes into account a small number of Apple Watch Series 2 sales.
The report indicates that Lenovo’s Motorola “suffered the largest year-over-year decline among the leading vendors … In addition, [the third quarter] marks the first time in which Motorola did not introduce a new smartwatch in time for the holiday quarter, adding to its decline in the market.”
“We believe the wrist still has value and there will be a point where they provide value to consumers more than they do today,” Barkat tells the Verge.
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