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OnePlus co-founder unveils the smartwatch that never was

Carl Pei, photographed at a OnePlus event.
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Ever since OnePlus unveiled its first flagship phone back in 2014, rumors of a company-built smartwatch have swirled, if somewhat irregularly. However, just in case you did not believe OnePlus CEO Pete Lau’s comments earlier this month, then let OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei put the rumors to bed through some previously unreleased sketches.

Pei took to Twitter to unveil these design sketches, which show a circular smartwatch that can be detached and swapped between different watchbands. Based on the sketches, it looks like the smartwatch was designed to feature a quick-release button that would allow for easier swapping.

Do not expect these sketches to be anything more, however, as Pei said the drawings are “what could have been but never will be.” A shame, since, based on the drawings, OnePlus’ smartwatch looks to have had rather good design DNA.

As previously mentioned, Lau came out and said the company scrapped any smartwatch plans. According to the CEO, the decision hinged on OnePlus not wanting to release a smartwatch for the sake of releasing one, with the company deciding to focus on making phones rather than splitting its focus into multiple areas. It is because of this supposed laser focus that Lau believes OnePlus will be part of a smaller field of competitors, with other companies dying out as their resources are divided into multiple areas.

The problem, said Lau, is that the current phone market is saturated. As a result, smaller companies like OnePlus need to be careful about how they devote their resources, particularly since the firm competes with the likes of Huawei, Xiaomi, Apple, and other huge phone makers.

Perhaps OnePlus will get to the point where it can afford to allocate resources to smartwatch building. Alas, based on Lau’s and Pei’s comments, it does not seem as if that time will be anytime soon.

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