Wearable devices such as fitness trackers and smartwatches are becoming ever more popular, and even though it’s still a very young and nascent market, and still largely unproven, it’s expected that ‘wearables’ will steadily become a multi-billion dollar business over the coming few years.
Android Wear “too restrictive” for smartwatches
According to BusinessKorea, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Sony and more are giving up on Android for smart watches, partly because of Google’s ‘closed’ Android Wear policy.
The Vice President of Chinese electronics company Huawei, recently said that Android Wear is not as open as Android itself, and therefore cannot become the standard for wearables and smartwatches. Forbes also criticised Google saying that “Google’s stubborn nature is killing Android Wear”.
It’s not immediately clear what the VP meant by those comments, and how they see Android Wear as being too restrictive. It seems that Google can’t increase the level of openness in Android Wear enough to satisfy some tech companies like Huawei.
BusinessKorea claims that “On Google’s part, however, it cannot raise the degree of openness to the level of the mobile OS yet, because its profits from the OS and business efficiency are much less compared to those of Apple”.
The publication also comments that a partly closed system is necessary to tackle malicious applications and viruses, and that experts predict that Google’s dominant position in mobile (dominant in terms of unit sales, not in terms of revenue and profits) is unlikely to be repeated in the smartwatch market, where there is already a huge proliferation of different operating systems – for example Pebble uses its own smartwatch operating system, as does the Apple watch (due out next month).
It remains to be seen how popular Android Wear smartwatch devices become, as more companies get on the wearables bandwagon, including luxury Swiss watchmakers such as TAG.