Google officially announced today a rebranding of its wearable platform from Android Wear to Wear OS. The company says the shift “better reflects our technology, vision, and most important of all—the people who wear our watches.” Along with this news is some interesting data on how a subset of users on Google’s wearable platform are also iPhone users.
Google notes in its blog post on the matter that last year, 1/3 of Android Wear users were doing so with an iPhone.
As our technology and partnerships have evolved, so have our users. In 2017, one out of three new Android Wear watch owners also used an iPhone.
Android Wear 2.0 was released over a year ago and received a good amount of criticism. Even five months later, many Android Wear watches still hadn’t received the 2.0 upgrade.
However, one draw for iPhone users is likely the wide variety of smartwatches available for Google’s platform. While Apple Watch offers the flexibility of easily swapping out bands, there is only one hardware design in a handful of different finishes.
In any case, Google has a lot of catching up to do, Apple is leading the wearable market by a long shot, with the second most popular vendor being Fitbit (which doesn’t run Wear OS). All of the Wear OS (previously Android Wear) OEMs have a much smaller portion of the market.
We’ll have to wait and see if the new branding and a shift of focus for Google can turn things around for its wearable efforts.