Rumours first surfaced back in mid-2014 that OnePlus might be planning to launch a smartwatch. They faded away quickly, leaving the Chinese company to focus on smartphones. A number of competitors, including market leader Apple, have since released smartwatches of their own. Somewhat surprisingly, it turns out that OneWatch may have come quite close to launching a smartwatch before it decided to scrap those plans.
Speaking at the Converge technology conference taking place in Hong Kong this week, OnePlus founder and CEO Pete Lau confirmed that the company had completed the design for a OnePlus smartwatch but halted the project before it reached the production stage. “We had completed the design but we still decided to scrap it,” he said. “We have to be focused.”
OnePlus will instead remain focused on high-end smartphones like the OnePlus Two and the upcoming OnePlus Three in response to a smartphone market that he described as “very cruel” in China. Whereas smartphone shipments grew 62.5% in 2013, they slowed to 2.5% last year even as the number of players grew. As a result, OnePlus took a hard look at its product strategy, resulting in the decision to kill its smartwatch ambitions in a bid to survive until the market matures (and some competitors drop out).
It remains to be seen if we’ll ever see a OnePlus smartwatch or another type of OnePlus wearable. Should the company backtrack on its recent decision, it sounds like such products are still a few years out.
Source : The Wall Street Journal