In 2015, Lenovo released an upgraded Moto 360. That was the last time the company launched a wearable—and it remain the last.
After not releasing a new smartwatch through 2016, Lenovo has said that was a conscious decision—and that it currently has no plans to launch a wearable in 2017, either, even as Google prepares to release Android Wear 2.0 software.
“Wearables do not have broad enough appeal for us to continue to build on it year after year,” Shakil Barkat, head of global product development at Moto, told The Verge.
Android Wear is not poised to mimic the success of Google’s phone operating system, Android. With Moto out and Samsung turning toward proprietary software, there aren’t many reputable manufacturers slated to power their next-gen smartwatches with Android Wear. Huawei and LG are also considering abandoning the platform. In fact, it may be up to Google, who has hinted it may release its own smartwatch similar to how it released the Pixel phone this year.
The market is cooling rapidly. According to data from the International Data Corporation’s Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, smartwatch volumes reached 2.7 million units shipped last quarter, a decrease of 51% from the 5.6 million units shipped in the year-ago quarter. Even Apple was not immune to this trend: indeed, the company’s shipments dropped 71%.
And then there’s smartwatch maker Pebble, who just sold for $40 million, when last year was worth up to $740 million.