Lenovo Moto has confirmed it will not launch a wearable device in time for the scheduled Android Wear 2 launch and has no current smartwatch plans.
Google is expected to launch Android Wear 2 early next year, but Lenovo doesn’t see the update as major enough to warrant a new smartwatch.
Speaking to The Verge, Shakil Barkat, head of global product development at Moto, said he doesn’t see major interest in smartwatches at this time, but left the possibility of future smartwatch launches should the technology and software improve.
“Wearables do not have broad enough appeal for us to continue to build on it year after year,” said Barkat. “We believe the wrist still has value and there will be a point where they provide value to consumers more than they do today.
A blow for Android Wear
It is a blow for Android Wear, which is already seeing a downturn in interest, as Apple starts to consolidate its position as leader of the smartwatch market. Moto was one of the first manufacturers to build an Android Wear smartwatch, the Moto 360, but sales haven’t been as high as Google, Lenovo, or Moto expected.
Lenovo, the owner of Moto, has been quietly restructuring the company in the past year, trimming some of the fat and updating the brand. The decision to back away from the smartwatch market may be a direct order from Moto’s Chinese owners.
Without Moto, Google is going to struggle to find innovative manufacturers that can make breakthroughs in the market. It has already lost Samsung, who decided to start using Tizen OS for most of its smartwatches instead of Android Wear.