Sony gives Android Wear the cold shoulder, sticks with its own platform for smartwatches
Despite not setting any box-office records so far, Sony’s SmartWatch line will remain largely unchanged in the software department, with future entries slated to run an OS different from the freshly unveiled Android Wear.
Google’s newest take on Android, designed specifically for wearable devices, came out of nowhere last week, complete with an interface heavily reliant on Google Now and two intelligent wristwatches conceived by Motorola and LG.
Besides the Moto 360 and G Watch makers, Big G announced a rich, impressive roster of future hardware partners, which included Samsung, HTC and Asus. Notably absent from the list? First and foremost, Sony.
And now it’s becoming clear why one of the most active, involved smartwatch players doesn’t want anything to do with Android Wear. It simply makes more economic sense to continue investing in the company’s own platform, which has taken quite a bit of resources until today.
Mind you, this is Sony’s current stance, and no one says it won’t be swayed by upcoming wearable market developments. After all, there has to be a reason why even Samsung’s willing to try Wear, pushing aside its particular Android fork, found inside the first-generation Galaxy Gear.
Meanwhile, there are no words on when to expect a Sony SmartWatch 3. Nor do we know for sure if Android Wear-based gizmos out and about later this year will be compatible with Xperia phones.
That has to be the case though, as Sony blocking the OS altogether may infuriate Google. And at the end of the day, the Japan-based OEM depends on the search giant’s services and mobile operating system.
In other news, Sony Mobile USA President Ravi Nookala confirmed to CNet the Xperia Z1s handheld exceeded expectations in the past few months, topping the original Xperia Z’s sales numbers. Yet Xperia Z2’s stateside launch remains a puzzle. There’s no ETA, no price tag, and we don’t even know the name or names of American carriers looking to subsidize the big guy.