Lenovo Scuttles Plans For Moto 360 Smartwatch Successor Running Android Wear 2.0

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Motorola’s original Moto 360 was the headlining hardware for the launch of Android Wear 1.0 in the summer of 2014. The smartwatch garnered praise for its sleek, circular design, but was widely panned for sluggish performance and poor battery life. Motorola improved on the original with a second-generation Moto 360 and Moto 360 Sport in 2015, but it may be a while before we see a third generation of Android Wear smartwatches from Lenovo Moto.

Google’s Android Wear 2.0 platform is scheduled to debut during the first half of 2017, but Lenovo Moto will sit this one out says Shakil Barkat, Moto’s head of global product development. According to Barkat, Lenovo doesn’t “see enough pull in the market to put [a new smartwatch] out at this time,” before adding, “Wearables do not have broad enough appeal for us to continue to build on it year after year.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that has been following the wearables market. IDC reported in late October that smartwatch sales fell 51 percent year-over-year during Q3 (2.7 million units shipped versus 5.6 million). "The sharp decline in smartwatch shipment volumes reflects the way platforms and vendors are realigning," said Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC's Wearables team.

Moto 360 Mens Watches

“Moving forward, differentiating the experience of a smartwatch from the smartphone will be key and we're starting to see early signs of this as cellular integration is rising and as the commercial audience begins to pilot these devices," added Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers.

When the Moto 360 and Moto 360 Sport launched last year, they were both priced from $299. Nowadays, the latter can easily be found for around $130. During Cyber Monday, the smartwatch was available for $99, just one-third its launch price. Given the lengths that Lenovo is going to in order to move units, it’s no surprise that the company is looking to sit things out for a while.

On the other hand, Lenovo Moto remains committed to offering users of second generation Moto 360 and Moto 360 Sport a software upgrade to Android 2.0. Those with the first-generation Moto 360, which is equipped with a pokey Texas Instruments SoC, will be left out of the fun.