Rumors suggest that Google may be joining the ranks of the smartwatch markers along with a host of other OEMs, but you know, not HTC. This is an interesting rumor because it makes for a fantastic debate. There are a lot of good reasons why Google should make a Pixel Watch, and a lot of good reasons why it should stay the heck out of it. I was giddy when I read this story, because it is totally my thing.
Too many cooks
On the one hand Google has no real reason to make a smartwatch. The reason for this is because, Google already has a ton of smartwatches. They’re just not made by Google. But every smartwatch out there that runs Android Wear runs basically the same thing. There are no Android Wear skins or anything like that. Android Wear is Android Wear is Android Wear. About the only variance you get is on the hardware side, which is as varied as anything else. Suffice it to say that Google has really nothing to add to this conversation.
Google is already stepping on toes when it comes to smartphones and the new (ok, well not totally new) line of Pixel phones. Already Google is competing with the likes of Samsung, HTC, LG, Hauwei, and a host of other smartphone OEMs on the phone side and darn it, now they’re going to have to keep up on watches too? Well, except HTC that is.
Not the most popular
And HTC is out for a good reason – smartwatch adoption isn’t exactly tearing up the charts. Smartwatches are devices for geeks and nerds and Apple fans. It’s not like any company is really making a living on smartwatches. Heck, we just saw two companies fall in the past month. This is not a good time to be pushing the smartwatch, because it hasn’t caught on yet.
The Nexus phone program made sense because it offered geeks and developers a pure Google experience, as Google intended. It was basically a reference device to build on. But since every Android Wear watch runs the same software except for a few custom watch faces, there’s nothing new here. We don’t need a Google Nexus Smartwatch.
But maybe that’s not what this is meant to be. Considering Google is now taking an entirely new approach to hardware, why shouldn’t that extend to all facets of mobile, including wearables that don’t make you look like a d******? Google is putting a lot of stock into its image as a high-quality OEM. It really only makes sense that Google would offer a high end watch at the same time.
If you want to talk about keeping up with the Joneses, also consider what Google’s main competitor is doing – Apple. Apple offers a high end tablet, smartphone, and smartwatch, all built to run together. If Apple can do it, shouldn’t Google do it as well? Well, wait maybe Samsung is Google’s main competitor. Same story. From a strictly image standpoint, failing to offer a great option in any category could be disastrous.
How can I assist?
Plus, Google is now pushing its Google Assistant out in an array of devices. It only makes sense that Google should also have a watch that works with Google Assistant as well. Any time anyone wants anything, regardless of where they are or what they’re wearing, Google Assistant should be there, waiting to help. Smartwatches offer the ubiquity and presence that even a smartphone doesn’t offer – there all the time. It’s the best way to get Google Assistant into the spotlight.
Finally, now Google will have control over the smartwatch hardware as well. No longer will it have to hope that other OEMs are using sufficient hardware to give the user a good experience. This is Google’s chance to tell the smartwatch story in its own words. Like the Pixel tablets and phones, Google will have its finger in this pie from day one. Its success will be Google’s success. Google will now control its own destiny of four platforms, if you count Google Home. That is a great position to be in, no matter who you are.
So what do you think? Is Google taking too big a risk here to bring a device that isn’t even all that popular yet? Or does Google need to control its destiny regardless of screen size, from one inch to however big it wants to go? Does the host of Android Wear watches out there make Google’s offering already obsolete? Or are you excited to see what Google can do on your wrist? Sound off below in the comments with your thoughts and let’s see if we can figure this out.