Although Google is expected to launch Android Wear 2.0 early next year, Motorola won’t be there to celebrate. The Lenovo-owned company on Thursday said it’s backing out of the wearable market—at least until the technology improves.
“Wearables do not have a broad enough appeal for us to continue to build on it year after year,” said Shakil Barkat, head of global product development at Motorola.
Barkat said because of the market’s low appeal, the subsidiary doesn’t see any benefit to launching a new smartwatch anytime soon. For now, users will have to make do with the most recent Moto 360, which was launched in 2015.
Over the past several months, the wearable market has been slow to innovate, which could be giving Moto pause. When the company is simply iterating on previous versions, products become boring. And that does the company—and consumers—no good.
Perhaps Motorola is waiting for a situation when new technology changes how people interact with their wearables.
Are smartwatches doomed?
It’s been a long time since a notable smartwatch hit the market, the Apple Watch notwithstanding. By stepping away from wearables, Motorola has the opportunity to reassess its strategy and get a clearer idea of where the market is headed.
With Android Wear 2.0 on the horizon, we could see a resurgence in the market. But, even then, the new features coming to the platform, including standalone apps, don’t exactly signal a sea change for Google’s wearable OS.
Google is expected to release a pair of wearables early next year, so perhaps those will fill the void left by Motorola.