OnePlus had a smartwatch design ‘completed’ at one point, but chose to shelve it
If there’s one thing we’ve always liked and found refreshing about OnePlus co-founders Pete Lau and Carl Pei, that’s definitely their candor regarding the company’s plans, strategies and product lineup.
Once again, CEO Pete Lau doesn’t shy away from talking past explorations of the fledgling wearable market, confirming a OnePlus OneWatch of sorts was very seriously considered before the Chinese startup concluded it needed to remain “focused.”
Focused on smartphones in general, and budget-friendly high-enders in particular, which still have more room for growth than smartwatches, despite intense competition and stagnating worldwide demand.
Exactly how far did OnePlus get in its tentative attempt to build an Apple Watch or Moto 360 contender, likely running Android Wear on the software side of things? Pretty far, it seems, having “completed the design” but nonetheless deciding to scrap it.
What Lau doesn’t want us to know is when this all happened (mid-2014 is our best guess), as well as the reasons behind the cancellation. Fear of losing “focus” sounds a little bit like a non-explanation to us, with OnePlus probably more skittish about its standout capacity in a crowded, immature “industry” where very few companies seem to be turning a profit.
It’d also be interesting to find out if perhaps Pete Lau and the gang would reconsider a smartwatch or at least fitness band release now that invites are no longer required to order new or old phones. A wide-scale rollout of the Loop VR headset at, say, $50 maybe? Some degree of diversification must follow, even at the risk of losing focus.