HTC’s chief financial officer, Chialin Chang, seems to have put a nail in the coffin for an HTC Android Wear smartwatch. In an interview with Tbreak Media, Chang said HTC will not have a watch in its product portfolio in the “short term.”
“I can tell you that we’re not going to have an Android watch,” Chang told Tbreak. “I don’t thing we’ve nailed it with [the experience of] watches. Android watch is one thing but even Apple as a big brand is declining [in watches]. We are not going to have a watch in the short term.”
Lenovo’s Motorola has also pulled smartwatches from its product portfolio. Last year, hardly any manufacturers released Android Wear smartwatches due to poor demand. But that’s expected to change in 2017 as Google will launch two Android Wear smartwatches in the coming weeks alongside the official debut of Android Wear 2.0 — a major revamp to the operating system. Many other manufacturers and fashion brands are expected to follow suit with their own Android Wear smartwatches as well.
Leaks of the watch have circulated since 2014, and it seems as though it was an on-and-off project facing continuous delays. We originally questioned its existence, until some hands-on images leaked on Weibo, and reported on by AndroidPolice.
What it might have looked like
The watch, originally code-named “Halfbreak,” has a circular face and appears to have two buttons located on the right-hand side. The display itself is 360 x 360 pixels, which is what it was rumored to be when we first heard about it in the Phandroid leak from 2015.
It appeared to be running a 1.x version of Android wear, which could mean this is a preproduction model since Android 2.0 is set to arrive in the coming weeks.
Also of note is the heart rate sensor on the back of the watch, and the pogo pins, alongside the Under Armor logo, which could suggest a partnership with the device. The companies have previously worked together on the Healthbox platform, so it wouldn’t have been surprising to see another team up.
No watch for the ‘short term’
We first heard about the wearable in an older CNET report from 2014, where HTC chairwoman (and now CEO) Cher Wang said the watch would connect to phones through Bluetooth, and HTC would focus on battery efficiency as well as design.
At the time, Wang said it would be “the best-looking” smartwatch on the market. We don’t know if the device Wang was referring to is the same one that is pictured here, but HTC typically focuses on design with its products so her comments may still ring true.
But with Chang’s latest revelations, it’s likely the HTC watch has been scrapped until the smartwatch market sees some growth. Chang did specifically say “short term,” so the company isn’t out of the market indefinitely. We will continue to update this article with any new information on the rumored HTC Watch.
This article was originally published in September 2015. Updated on 01-25-2017 by Julian Chokkattu: Added a statement from HTC CFO, who says HTC will not have an Android watch in the short term.
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