Motorola will be stepping away from making any more smartwatches for the time being, it confirmed during a press event in Chicago this week.
The company had previously said that it would not release a new smartwatch in 2016, and it looks like its smartwatch hiatus will be protracted. This puts the Lenovo-owned phone maker off the smartwatch race when Google launches its the newest iteration of its wearable platform, Android Wear 2.0
No Moto 360 Successor
"We don't see enough pull from the market at this point to put out a new [smartwatch]," Shakil Barkat, head of the company's global product development, said. Moto 360 remains the company's latest wearable flagship, first released last year in September.
Barkat cited the abysmal broad appeal of smartwatches as its reason for withdrawing plans to release a Moto 360 successor, but he did hint that the company might reenter the smartwatch market should wearable technology improve.
"We believe the wrist still has value," he said.
Are Smartwatches Struggling?
Smartwatches, particularly Android Wear-powered wearables, have dwindled in relevance and popularity over the past year, as only a few companies decided to release smartwatch successors this year. Even Google has delayed its Android Wear 2.0 platform, supposedly for release this fall but is now slated for a 2017 rollout.
Even without a new smartwatch from Motorola, the Moto 360 will still receive Android Wear 2.0 when it hits, but the first-generation Moto 360 won't receive a similar treatment.
The market for smartwatches in general have considerably decreased. In Q3 2016, smartwatch sales were down 51.6 percent year on year. The slow boomlet of these wearables have so far failed to corner a considerable chunk of the market, and others are doubtful that it ever will in the long run, even with a number of companies invested in the lagging smartwatch industry.
A Bleak Smartwatch Future
Despite the general decline of smartphone sales and Motorola's break from the wearable race, there are still plenty of smartwatches beelined for a 2016 release as the year draws to a close.
Prognostically, whispers of 2017 smartwatches have been very minimal, with LG, Tag Heuer and a short list of others headlining the 2017 smartwatch lineup. There's a lot more to be added to the list as 2017 enters the fore, but the smartwatch hype remains meek as of this time. This dispiritedness, if unchanged, will play a huge factor in what will drive manufacturers away from the industry.
Do you think smartwatches and wearables in general have a place in the market? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!