It’s no secret that the smartwatch segment is struggling. The Apple Watch is clearly the front runner at this point, but Android Wear devices offer more form factors from both tech and traditional watch manufacturers. High end models from companies like Tag Heuer, Montblanc and Louis Vuitton also kick things up a notch for discriminating buyers. But oddly, Google never once mentioned Android Wear at their Pixel event yesterday. After the event, Android Wear simply disappeared from the Google Store, including the standout LG Watch Sport.
It’s actually still possible to access the Android Wear page with a direct link, but everything is listed as “no longer available.” The sudden lack of support from Google is troubling for Android Wear fans as it’s now unclear where things are headed. Retailers like Amazon and B&H Photo still carry many of the best models, from the LG Watch Sport to the Huawei Watch 2, but will manufacturers start losing interest? Motorola and Sony have already left the space.
Android Wear hasn’t died overnight, however. Companies like Fossil and Diesel continue to push them out, and Misfit’s anticipated Vapor Wear is coming soon.
It’ll be interesting to see how Google moves forward. They just announced a new Android Wear beta program for the LG Watch Sport, based on Android 8.0 Oreo. So something is still happening at Mountain View. Also, 9to5Google just posted an update that claims the reason for Android Wear’s removal from the Google Store is simply due to the fact that Google doesn’t currently make a watch. The policy is that the Google Store will only stock products that carry the Google brand or are part of the Made for Google program. Perhaps a game changing Pixel watch is on the horizon. Only time will tell.