Jeff Chang, the product manager of Android Wear at Google, has confirmed the company will launch two of its own Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches in early 2017.
In a chat with The Verge, Chang stated the watches will be the first devices that will have Android Wear 2.0 installed and out of the box. The smartwatches will be made by a currently unnamed manufacturer, but Chang stated that Google is collaborating with that company on both the hardware design and software integration. He added that the watches won’t have the Pixel branding, but will be branded by the company that’s manufacturing them. The collaboration will be similar to Google’s partnership on its older Nexus smartphones and tablets. The specific hardware details on these two devices have yet to be revealed. This new report corroborates earlier rumors that Google planned to launch two of its own smartwatches in the new year.
Android Wear 2.0 was supposed to launch by the end of 2016, but a few months ago, Google delayed its public release until the first quarter of 2017. The company recently released the fourth developer preview of the OS, and the fifth preview is due out in January. Chang told The Verge that the fifth preview will add support for both Google Assistant and Android Pay.
More new Android Wear 2.0 watches from third-parties will be released in 2017, according to Chang, and some may be announced at CES 2017 in Las Vegas in early January.