LG and Samsung have taken the lead in the race to bring Android Wear to customers, with the G Watch and the Gear Live to start shipping in just 10 days. Motorola should be close behind, though we still don’t know when its circular wonder will finally hit the shelves.
But there will be other Android Wear partners launching their devices this year, and Asus may have a shot at mass-market success, if one report is to be believed.
According to TechCrunch, citing sources familiar with Asus’ plans, the Taiwanese company is gearing up to launch an Android Wear smartwatch that will be priced in the $99-$149 range, significantly less than the Gear Live ($200) and the G Watch ($225). With that said, LG and Samsung devices could see some price cuts by the time Asus’ Android Wear launches, which will reportedly happen in September. Incidentally or not, IFA will take place in Berlin in early September, so that could be a good place to look for it.
<em>Can Asus make a great cheap smartwatch?</em>
Asus’ smartwatch will reportedly feature an AMOLED screen (just like the Gear Live), but other than that we don’t know any details about it. Apparently, Google pushed for an aggressive release schedule, which is Asus decided to wait for the fall to release its first Android Wear product.
Asus is a master of producing affordable electronics, with the two Nexus 7 generations standing as prime examples. The company hasn’t been doing very well on the smartphone front, in part because of their limited availability, but hopefully its wearables will be easier to get by.
Who else might tempt us with a cool smartwatch this year? From the batch of partners that Google announced when Android Wear debuted, we still don’t have details about HTC’s product, though we do expect news on this front soon.