It mightn’t admit but Google’s Android Wear is gearing up for the faceoff with Apple Watch. As Apple Inc.’s debutante smartwear is expected to hit the shelves in April after the much longer wait and anticipation, Google couldn’t have afforded to put the makeover of its ecosystem and wearable off any more. Though, the Android Wear has been here from last one year now and most of the smartwatches such as ASUS ZenWatch, LG G Watch R and Moto 360 are based on it yet it failed to overhaul the system timely and address the concern of users.
However, the arrival of Apple Watch forced the Android maker to reinvent and revamp its strategy to retain its market share and dominance.
The next steps of this strategy revolve around collaborating with traditional watchmaker such as Tag Heuer to create luxury smartwatches. Tag Heuer is a renowned Swiss watchmaker known for creating luxury timepieces ranging between a few thousand dollars and even more. While Google will provide the watchmaker with software, Intel will boost the machine with processor and sensor components. Tag Heuer will mainly focus on the design without letting the tech aspect overshadowing the luxury aspect. It is to be noted that till now processors by Qualcomm or Texas instruments have powered the Android Wear smartwatches, however, this time Intel is onboard and Tag Heuer watches will be the first smartwatch to use the Intel chips. Though, it won’t be Intel’s first brush with wearables as Mica bracelet was powered by Intel processors.
As of now, none of the makers has confirmed more details about the partnership. David Singleton, Google’s Director of Engineering for Android Wear has stated that watches will retain focus on the quality and performance expected from a brand like Tag Heuer. Tag Heuer is one of the largest Swiss watchmakers but it lacks the “luxury” quotient of Rolex as the Verge reports.
To the outsiders it seemed like an impact of the arrival of arch rival Apple’s wearable but Singleton refused and stated that the talks between the companies are on from last March to create a luxury Android Wear smartwatch as Google’s focus has always been on creating and delivering exactly what would people want to strap on their wrist.
It seems unlikely of Google to zero in on Tag Heuer alone for the luxury smartwear edition but it hasn’t announced any other partnership also as of now. Meanwhile Reuters have confirmed that the smartwatch will be the lookalike of Tag Heuer Black Carrera, which is sporty and bulky in appearance.
People’s general grudge with Android smartwatch is that it is costly and doesn’t look even half as nice as traditional smartwatch. The partnership with traditional watch makers may address the latter concern but people may need to shell more to own a luxury smartwatch. However how the traditional watchmaker companies will cope with the technical aspect of digital watches also be a thing to watch out for as well as if people are really ready to burn a hole in their pockets to get a fancy watch on the wrists when at the fraction of a price they could get entire computing hub for.