After the failure of the Facebook Phone, get ready for a Facebook Watch – Ars Technica5 min read

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/02/after-the-failure-of-the-facebook-phone-get-ready-for-a-facebook-watch/

Expand/ Counterpoints H1 2020 Global smartwatch market share. Counterpoint ResearchAndroid does not have much of a future in smartwatches. Googles smartwatch-focused version of Android, WearOS, appears like a dead platform, having actually only captured 10 percent of the global smartwatch market in H1 2020, according to the most current report from Counterpoint Research. Theres no developer base for WearOS, due to the fact that sales are so low. All the gizmo producers like Samsung, LG, Huawei, and Motorola have actually run away the platform, leaving only the fashion brands to battle over the scraps. Google seems to have deserted advancement of the platform, too, with the last significant WearOS update releasing in 2018.
Its not clear if Facebook will actually use WearOS for this smartwatch. If the report is up to date on the mystical licensing of Android source code, it sounds like Facebook will fork Phone Android and make its own version of Android-for-smartwatches, stripping out any unnecessary functions. Facebook would then be responsible for running an app shop, making designer APIs, and a million other things.
Advertisement

Heres a declaration that should fill everyone with optimism: Facebook is constructing an Android smartwatch! Thats according to a brand-new report from The Information, which says the watch ought to hit the market next year.
Sources inform The Information that the watch will be a standalone device, able to link to cellular networks without tethering to a smart device. The report makes it seem like Facebook wishes to develop its own smartwatch environment, stating the gadget will “let wearers send messages using Facebooks services and likewise provide fitness and health features.” The Information later included that “Facebook intends to emphasize functions that use its social networking prowess, such as allowing users to track their exercises with good friends or communicate with their fitness instructor” which Facebook “strategies to permit the gadget to link to the services or hardware of fitness companies, such as Peloton Interactive.”
Will the project succeed? Lets simply say that every word in the expression “Facebook Android smartwatch” is cause for concern. If you exclude the acquired Oculus VR division, Facebooks hardware efforts havent turned out well. The closest previous job to a smartwatch is the Facebook Phone, aka, the HTC. Facebook and HTC teamed up in 2013 to create a mobile phone using HTCs hardware and Facebooks software. Facebook made a custom Android skin with a brand-new, Facebook-centric home screen and a few other additions. The phone lasted one month on the market. Facebooks more recent, less historically disastrous hardware effort is the Facebook Portal line, which is a series of video chat devices readily available in several clever screen form factors and as a set-top box for your TELEVISION. These did not sell well in the typical market, however when the pandemic hit, the Portal TELEVISION sold out along with every other video chat device.
Advertisement

A major driving force behind the failure of WearOS, which Facebook will likewise need to consider, is that Qualcomm has actually traditionally not been that thinking about supporting a smartwatch ecosystem with hardware. Qualcomm introduced its first smartwatch SoC in 2014 and then went six years prior to it launched a brand-new smartwatch chip that could be considered a significant upgrade. The mid-2020 release of the Snapdragon Wear 4100 implies that Facebook presently has a decent-but-not-great choice for a smartwatch chip, however its unclear if Qualcomm plans to rework that chip for another six years or if it prepares to really allow year-over-year smartwatch improvements now. Apple and Samsung both make their own smartwatch SoCs, which arent for sale to other makers. Its Qualcomm or bust if youre browsing for a smartwatch SoC to buy.
The smartwatch market is entirely controlled by Apple, which according to that very same Counterpoint Research report has 51 percent of the global smartwatch market. The remainder of the smartwatch market is a lot of struggling suppliers with bespoke os, all under 10 percent each– companies like Samsung, Huawei, and Garmin.
The Information says Facebooks smartwatch push is part of a larger plan intended at “controlling the next computing platforms after smart devices.” In the mobile phone period, Facebook is at the mercy of the two big smartphone operating system vendors, Google and Apple, neither of which have a particularly excellent relationship with Facebook. Google is a competitor of Facebook in user tracking, platforms, and advertisements. Apples push for personal privacy (which it sees as an essential differentiator in between Android and iOS) has led the company to straight attack Facebook. It would have a lot more flexibility to do what it desires– freedom which most likely includes tracking users if Facebook owned the platform.

The Information later on added that “Facebook hopes to highlight features that utilize its social networking expertise, such as allowing users to track their exercises with pals or interact with their trainer” and that Facebook “plans to permit the device to link to the services or hardware of health and physical fitness companies, such as Peloton Interactive.”
Facebook and HTC teamed up in 2013 to develop a mobile phone utilizing HTCs hardware and Facebooks software. Facebooks newer, less traditionally dreadful hardware effort is the Facebook Portal line, which is a series of video chat devices offered in several wise display screen type factors and as a set-top box for your TV. The mid-2020 release of the Snapdragon Wear 4100 implies that Facebook presently has a decent-but-not-great option for a smartwatch chip, however its not clear if Qualcomm means to rehash that chip for another six years or if it prepares to really allow year-over-year smartwatch improvements now. In the mobile phone period, Facebook is at the grace of the two huge smart device operating system vendors, Google and Apple, neither of which have an especially excellent relationship with Facebook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *