Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is reportedly developing two Android Wear watches that will focus heavily on the Google Assistant, the company’s artificial intelligence offering.
Citing an unnamed “reliable source,” Android Police said the watches, codenamed Angelfish and Swordfish, will be released after the launch of the next Nexus phones, likely in the next several months. One model is said to be larger and support LTE, GPS and heart-rate monitoring, while the other will offer fewer features and lack mobile data.
It’s unclear whether the gadgets will feature Google’s Nexus brand.
While the report is unconfirmed, Google is clearly showing a renewed interest in developing its own mobile devices. The company recently hired former Motorola chief Rick Osterloh to lead its effort to unify its hardware line, and it reportedly is planning to launch its own phone later this year to take more control of its Android platform.
The smartwatch market continues to struggle despite a tremendous amount of hype. The Apple Watch dominates a market that remains niche, but Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) hasn’t disclosed sales figures and KGI Securities predicted in April that shipments of the device would fall 25 percent this year compared to last year.
Analysts say several factors continue to shackle the smartwatch market. A lack of compelling use cases and applications continue to plague smartwatches, and battery life remains a concern.
And while Google is rarely a pioneer in the device market, offering its own smartwatches would enable it to keep pace with Apple and Samsung, both of which continue to pursue the space. A Google smartwatch would also enable the company to showcase Google Assistant, taking on Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. There’s little reason to think the smartwatch market is poised to take off anytime soon, but a compelling offering from Google could give the space a much-needed lift.
– see this Android Police report
Report: Google to launch its own phone later this year
Google hires former Motorola chief Osterloh in hardware shakeup
Report: Next Apple Watch could have cellular connectivity
Report: Apple Watch sales expected to fall by more than 25% this year