It seems the OnePlus finally has a rumor that would never die, at least not until it comes to fruition next year. It started way back in 2014, right around OnePlus’ own debut, and almost had an announcement this month before OnePlus reportedly pulled out the rug yet again. The company’s first wearable device might still be in the works, with a rumored 2021 launch, but when it does, it might not look like most smartwatches these days, at least not when it comes to the software that runs on it.
Android made it significantly easier to make smartphones, Google-certified or otherwise, by freeing manufacturers from the chore of developing and maintaining their own custom mobile software. Wear OS, formerly Android Wear, does the same for smartwatches, which is why it is the most common platform for wearables. There are quite a few exceptions, of course, and the OnePlus Watch might be one of those.
Max Jambor, a.k.a. @MaxJmb on Twitter, dropped the bombshell in just one line. According to the tip, the OnePlus Watch won’t use Wear OS, simple as that. Of course, that still leaves a lot of room for speculation on what OnePlus will be using instead.
There are quite a few smartwatch makers that do have their own custom operating systems but one doesn’t have to stray too far. In China, the likes of Xiaomi and OPPO use a modified version of Android instead of Wear OS while Huawei uses its own custom OS. Either of these is plausible but it might not be good for the product.
Even with an Android-based non-Wear OS platform, OnePlus will still be forced to do the work to connect with an Android or even iOS device, not to mention lacking support for popular apps. Given how closely OnePlus has collaborated with Google through the years, including on its Android TV products, this rumor is definitely odd, disappointing, and hopefully incorrect.