Since yesterday, a lot of media have been raging about the LG Watch Sport and Style withdrawal from the Google Store. For many, the conclusion is simple: Google abandons Android Wear. That is not (trully) the case.
The future of the smartwatches has been uncertain for several months now. Apart from Apple, whose Watch sales are booming, other players are experiencing difficulties. Whether Motorola’s withdrawal from the market, Pebble’s sale to Fitbit (and the end of their product line), the low sales of Android Wear models, or the few applications on Samsung’s Tizen, this market isn’t in a good shape.
It was therefore easy to conclude that the removal of the LG watches from the Google Store marked the end of Android Wear. Going further, we realize that the Google Store has moved from a model of products sold using their software to a new range “Made by Google” which offers only products that carry the software, but above all a hardware of the brand. This is not the case for Watch Sport and Style, which were manufactured by LG.
On the other hand, during the Google I/O 2017, Android Wear was the core of several conferences and workshops.
Nevertheless, the market shares of Google’s OS-based smartwatches are still not good, and Android Wear’s experience has not yet convinced a large number of users.
Android Wear is at an important crossroads, and the fact that he didn’t show up with a connected watch Made by Google during Tuesday’s announcements is not a good omen. The next few months will be decisive for the OS, which remains an important channel to democratize Google Assistant, which will eventually become the heart of the Google experience, whether on mobile phones, computers, speakers, cars, refrigerators or… smartwatches.
But no, the removal of LG watches from its Store does not mean that Android Wear will be abandoned by Google.