It’s the calm before the storm. Apple’s big event is less than a week away, which means the next Apple Watch is almost here.
But before we get consumed by all things Cupertino, we need to talk about what’s happened in the world of wearables this week. And surprise, surprise, Apple has been in the headlines more than once. There’s was also some bad news from Google (more on that below), something for Garmin watch owners to get excited about and a big tech breakthrough from the Swiss company that helped build Frederique Constant hybrids. Plus, MyKronoz is launching new hybrids with mechanical hands that sit on top of a full touchscreen display.
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We’ve picked out the three big stories from the past seven days and selected the other best reads from across the site. So put your feet up and catch up on the biggest stories of the week.
Apple is top of the wearable pile
Yes, Apple is apparently killing it on the wearables front according to the latest data from analyst firm IDC’s worldwide wearable device tracker. In its run-down of the top five wearable companies for the second quarter of 2018, Apple sits out on top ahead of Xiaomi, Fitbit, Huawei and Garmin with 17% of the share of the market. That success was put down to the demand for LTE-enabled Apple Watches.
Interestingly there’s no place for Samsung in the top five, who only recently launched its Samsung Galaxy Watch (our comprehensive review is imminent), while there was only one company in the list that currently makes smartwatches running on Google’s Wear OS.
In more general wearable trends, IDC suggests that there is now a much greater demand for more sophisticated smartwatches and while we’ve been hearing a lot of other analysts say that basic bands are on the decline, they are still proving popular in emerging markets where wearables are starting to sell in greater numbers.
Google Pixel Watch not launching
If you’ve been holding out for that hero smartwatch from Google, it ain’t happening any time soon. At least, not in 2018.
A Google executive who works on the Wear OS team confirmed in an interview that a Pixel Watch won’t happen this year. Instead the tech giant is focusing on improving its smartwatch software and working with existing hardware partners.
While a smartwatch built in-house was not written off entirely, it’s clearly not going to be showing up at Google’s hardware event, which has now been confirmed for 9 October. Maybe we’ll see new Pixel Buds, but hopes for a new watch have sadly been dashed.
Snap Specs you’ll want to wear
Snap is hoping more people will want to wear its second-generation specs now that they look a lot more like normal sunglasses.
The company launched two new frames that house the same camera tech as the original Specs 2 shades, but this time features polarised lenses and a look that does a better job of concealing the tech.
Snap has yet to say how well the new smartglasses have sold, but it will be hoping that these new frames will help the camera-snapping specs perform better this time around. The company had to write off $40 million in unsold inventory for the first pair.
These new-look Specs do cost more though, so it’ll be interesting to see if the company can make a success of it second time around.
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