HTC was expected to show off its brand spanking new smartwatch today at its hardware launch event, but now we’re hearing that apparently it won’t be making an appearance at all. While HTC has confirmed that it is still developing wearables, it’s decided to hold off on showing anything until next year.
“We had originally planned to have a wearable launch in this time frame,” HTC Americas head Jason Mackenzie told Re/code this week. “It ended up just not being ready.” Drew Bamford, current head of HTC’s Creative Labs team also commented on the news, saying that the current wearables that HTC is producing, simply aren’t up to scratch with their competitors and need more time to become something people will actually be interested in buying.
It’s not clear in what way HTC’s smartwatch was lacking, whether it was in terms of the display, or battery life or perhaps simply, it didn’t have any features that the other manufacturers haven’t already implemented. This was a strategy adopted by Apple, who’s smartwatch is pretty much identical to any other smartwatch out there, but it can get away with those sorts of tactics, since it has a built in and rabid fanbase that will buy whatever it puts out to some extent.
“We’ve seen a lot of general purpose wearables come to market,” said Bamford. “There’s not a strong reason to wear one every day. When we come to market with our product we want to make sure the product has a strong point of view and there is a really compelling reason to strap it on your wrist.”
His comments also suggest a measure of apathy for the current lineup of smartwatches, which really only offer the same sorts of features a user would have on their smartphone anyway and on top of that, the smarthphone is usually required to use much of the wearable’s main functions.
HTC has since announced that it will be discussing more details about its wearable developments and potentially offering some products in that line, early next year.
What do you guys think of this move? Is it a good one for HTC, giving it time to produce something worthwhile, or has it shot itself in the foot by intending to enter a market next year that will be even more crowded than it is now?