Samsung hasn’t given up on Android Wear, or so it says

JC Torres - May 25, 2016, 4:00 am CDT
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Samsung hasn’t given up on Android Wear, or so it says

If you’ve been waiting for an Android Wear version of the rather handsome Gear S2, rotating bezel and all, you might want to stop holding your breath or, if you can, hold it a lot, LOT longer. Some unnamed Samsung executive supposedly told Fast Company that company no longer has any Android Wear device planned, practically implying that, as far as wearables are concerned, Tizen is the future for Samsung. The Korean manufacturer sent a statement denying making any official word on the matter, but still leaves the question open.

To date, Samsung has had about seven wearable models (six if you count the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo as only one), excluding style variants and luxury items. Of those, only 2 are based on Android and only one of those two actually run Android Wear, the Samsung Gear Live. Its very first smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, was the victim of unfortunate circumstances. It came just far too early, at a time when Google had yet to make its own official wearable version of Android. Given the failure of one and the lukewarm reception of the other, It won’t really come much as a surprise if Samsung did pull the plug on any Android Wear plans.

Tizen, after all, is really its true love. Although not exactly its sole owner, Samsung is the biggest commercial entity using Tizen in any retail product. And while the smartphone incarnation of the operating system has failed to capture the imagination, much less money, it is faring better on TVs and wearables. Tizen still has a problem with the dearth of apps, though it has improved lately, but Samsung was able to offset that by driving interest in the Gear S2’s fancy rotary control.

Samsung’s official statement is that they have not “changed our commitment to any of our platforms.” That said, it has actually been rather non-committal to Android Wear in general. Whereas its fellows, like LG, Motorola, and Huawei, have put out one smartwatch after another, the Gear Live remains an oddity in Samsung’s roster, much like the Galaxy Gear before it.

There is actually no word yet on whether Samsung plans at all to introduce a new smartwatch in September, as it had done for the past two years or so. It is rumored to have a Gear Fit 2 in the works, but that is unlikely to be running Android Wear anyway.


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