Despite a number of leaks suggesting otherwise, HTC is not working on an Android Wear smartwatch.
In an interview with Tbreak, an English language publication based in the United Arab Emirates, HTC CFO and President of Global Sales Chia-Lin Chang, said, “I can tell you that we’re not going to have an Android watch. I don’t thing [sic] we’ve nailed it with [the experience of] watches. Android watch is one thing but even Apple as a big brand is declining [in watches.] We are not going to have a watch in the short term.”
Given the number of issues with the quote itself and some of the information presented in the source article (Chang, for instance, doesn’t call Google’s smartwatch platform by its proper name, Android Wear, and then there’s the typo in the second sentence of the statement), as well as the fact that Chang’s statement contradicts information that’s been coming out of HTC for the past year, MobileSyrup asked the company to comment on the statement.
Specifically, we emailed HTC, asking the company to verify the statement, as well as comment on its content. In response, a spokesperson for HTC said, “We have no additional comment.”
Without getting into semantics, the spokesperson’s decision to say “additional comment” in response to MobileSyrup questions is interesting. For the sake of comparison, when Samsung executives attending Google I/O let it slip that the company didn’t have any plans to support Android Wear 2.0, Samsung issued the following statement:
“Samsung has not made any announcement concerning Android Wear and we have not changed our commitment to any of our platforms.”
The matter, however, appears to have been settled.
In an email to Android Police, HTC was more decisive, confirming that the statement was accurate. Moreover, citing an unnamed source, the site’s David Raddock says the “Halfbeak” prototype that leaked earlier in the year and once again this past week, isn’t a project HTC is currently working on.
Whatever HTC’s reasons are for cancelling its first Android Wear smartwatch, it seems clear third-party OEMs have doubts about the platform’s market viability.
We’ll see whether Android Wear 2.0 is able to change that outlook when it releases layer this year.