Where is the Nexus smartwatch?
Google is creating a wide array of products powered by Android. Phones and tablets are of course the big ones, but there are a number of other products Google is helping bring to market, including the category of wearables. Getting even more specific, as you have gleaned from the headline, I’m wondering about smartwatches. Smartwatches are leading the charge in the nascent category of wearables and are far and away the most popular wearable smart product on the market today.
Where are they?
But Google hasn’t come out with its own smartwatch yet. Does that seem weird to anyone else? I mean on the one hand, Android Wear is in good hands with OEMs like Motorola, LG, and a host of other companies producing Android Wear smartwatches. Google doesn’t really have to make its own smartwatch because pretty much everyone else is already doing that for them. There’s already such a saturation in the market that we’re starting to put smartwatches into high end, midrange, and low-end categories. There is no lack of smartwatches available out there. Round and square, all shapes and sizes, even if none of them will last more than a day on a single charge.
Google is doing its part in the smartwatch industry by creating the operating system and updating it frequently, adding improvements, and overall in general supporting and pushing the platform forward. Android Wear is a really great platform with cards, Google Now, and OK Google. So Google is supporting the platform just as it should.
Google has its own hardware in the smartphone and tablet space. Heck, it even has Google Glass, which no one else has made yet. Google is an OEM for all intents and purposes, even if other companies build its hardware. Google not only makes the software to run these things, it needs to show other OEMs how to build the hardware as well. Yes, there are a lot of smartwatches out there, but none of them were built by Google to best showcase its software.
Not to mention, there is something to be said for a company that backs up its own software with hardware. Microsoft and Apple both built their own hardware, which allows them to build their devices and software together so they complement each other. I’m not sure what’s holding Google back from entering this space, but it’s not exactly putting its best foot forward with this move, or lack thereof.
I’m not an OEM, but I play one on TV
Google is providing the foundation for these wearables, after all. And there is no shortage of companies willing to step up. But more than that, the hardware the Google has “built” has been actually built by other companies. So Google isn’t exactly an OEM. It doesn’t actually build its own hardware, so why should smartwatches be any different? It’s not like a smartwatch needs to have a Nexus sticker on it to provide a “stock” Android Wear experience. There isn’t any such thing as a non-stock Android Wear experience, so maybe this is a distinction that isn’t needed in the space.
Ok fine, maybe we just want a cheap smartwatch. Google is becoming known for making great hardware with a great price tag. Why should a smartwatch be any different? Would Google be able to maintain Nexus-like margins in the smartwatch space? We don’t know and perhaps we never will.
That is the question
But it all comes back to the question of whether or not Google should make its own smartwatch. This is a debate for which I don’t think there is a clear answer. There are a lot of Android Wear watches out there, with even more on the way. Every Android Wear experience is the same, so there’s no real need to showcase a stock experience. But at the same time, the fact that Google hasn’t made its own smartwatch seems a little weird, considering the other types of hardware Google (and Alphabet) is into – IoT comes to mind.
What do you think? Is it necessary for Google to make a smartwatch for the Nexus line? Or are the other OEMs making more than enough smartwatches for the space? Would a Nexus smartwatch would be “just another smartwatch”? Sound off below and let’s see if we can figure this out.