Monday, December 5, 2016

Moto 360 might be Motorola's last smartwatch because of wearables lack luster appeal to consumers

Lenovo Moto confirmed that it will not be releasing a new smartwatch for the launch of Android Wear 2.0, due early next year. The company had earlier said it would not be releasing a new smartwatch in 2016, but it is now saying that it doesn’t plan to put out a new device timed to the arrival of Google’s newest wearable platform, either.

Shakil Barkat, head of global product development at Moto, said the company doesn’t “see enough pull in the market to put [a new smartwatch] out at this time,” though it may revisit the market in the future should technologies for the wrist improve. “Wearables do not have broad enough appeal for us to continue to build on it year after year,” Barkat said, and indicated that smartwatches and other wearable devices will not be in Moto’s annual device roadmap.

Smartwatches, and Android Wear devices in particular, have lost a lot of their steam over the past year, as few companies have updated their products. Google itself delayed the launch of Android Wear 2 from this fall to next year. The Moto 360 released in 2015 is expected to receive an update to the new software, but the original model launched in 2014 will not.

Whether or not Moto does jump back into the smartwatch market is still up in the air, but Barkat is leaving the possibility open. “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 said. But it doesn’t appear that we’ll be getting a new Moto 360 or other smartwatch any time in the near future.

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