Even though the first batch of Android Wear-based smartwatches didn't result in any remarkable success, Google is set to excite users with multiple features and design options with an all new batch. The upcoming family of Android Wear smartwatches will include more than 20 new models that will hit stores later this year.
"Whether you're a jetsetter or trendsetter, Android Wear has got you covered. With so many new watches to choose from, it's never been easier to wear what you want," writes David Singleton, vice president of engineering, Android Wear, in a blog post.
Google has partnered with designer brands like Diesel, Emporio Armani, Fossil, Guess, Gc, Hugo Boss, Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger to develop the new range of Android Wear smartwatches. Additionally, the young developments will come with Android Wear 2.0, the platform version that was debuted in June last year. The new software includes features such as activity tracking and Google Assistant integration.
Each of the new Android Wear models will come with some distinct features. For instance, the Michael Kors Access is touted have a My Social app that generates a watch face suitable to your Instagram or Facebook photos. Fossil has also developed its proprietary social sharing feature to let you share your personalised watch face with friends.
Casio is even taking a further step towards advancements by adding sensors to measure altitudes and atmospheric pressure. These technologies are a part of the Casio Pro-Trek Smart that also includes location memory and full-color offline map features.
The watches will include heart-rate monitor and GPS functionality to be vital for fitness geeks. Also, Google is in development to add Android Pay support that will allow you to make cashless payments right from your wrist.
It's 20 versus 1
The army of the new Android Wear smartwatches is strategically designed to give some alternatives to an upcoming Apple Watch version that is so far rumoured to have LTE support. Google is in plans to bring multiple options to grab eyeballs from the new development by the iPhone maker. But the Apple Watch has a whole ecosystem to protect its market position and the reported LTE addition would take that ecosystem to new levels.
Having said that, Google is blending design, luxury and technology to give more choices against the similarly designed Apple Watch models. This is something that the company has apparently learnt from its own experience of relying merely on tech giants like Asus and Motorola in the past.
Over 41 million smartwatches projected in 2017
According to a recent report by research firm Gartner, around 41.5 million smartwatches will be sold worldwide in 2017. The increase in sales is likely to reduce the average selling price (ASP) over time. "The overall ASP of the smartwatch category will drop from US$223.25 (approximately SG$300) in 2017 to US$214.99 in 2021 as higher volumes lead to slight reductions in manufacturing and component costs, but strong brands such as Apple and Fossil will keep pricing consistent with price bands of traditional watches," said Angela McIntyre, research director, Gartner.
International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that the worldwide wearable market that will majorly include smartwatches will be double in 2021 with total shipments of 240.1 million units, resulting in a five-year CAGR of 18.2 percent. The market research and analyst firm believe that smartwatches will see a boost in volumes in 2019 -- with the widespread availability of cellular connectivity.