It’s been a long time since Huawei launched its first smartwatch, the Watch was announced all the way back at MWC 2015. Since then, the company has been very quiet about its R&D in the wearables market, but a report from China suggests that Huawei is planning to launch a new smartwatch powered not by Android Wear but by Tizen.
Local daily JoongAng Ilbo reports that Huawei has been collaborating with Samsung, which leads the open-source development of Tizen, to bring the Linux-based operating system to the company’s next smartwatch. Such a collaboration would be a first for Tizen, which has so far been limited to a range of Samsung’s own products, including its range of Gear wearables, smart white goods, and other IoT devices.
Huawei was looking for an OS other than Google’s Android as the US firm had not been very collaborative
Apparently, Huawei had been looking for an alternative operating system to Android Wear, after Google had not been very collaborative with the company. OEMs have previously criticized the lack of hardware and software design flexibility with Android Wear, and this was a primary reason for Samsung moving to Tizen for the Gear S2.
Since then, Samsung’s Tizen OS has certainly proven itself a capable wearable operating system, especially with the company’s impressive Gear S3 smartwatch.
However, Samsung spokesperson Lee Won-ho states that “Samsung has not officially received any request for such collaboration from Huawei yet.” So, there’s no official collaboration between the two companies at the moment, but the use of the words “officially” and “yet” are at least a little suggestive of some form of talks. Furthermore, there’s nothing to stop Huawei from developing a Tizen powered watch on its own. The Tizen platform and code are open-source, and product development wouldn’t necessarily require any official collaboration with Samsung.
Unfortunately this rumor can’t be confirmed at this stage and comments just earlier in the month, from an unnamed Huawei executive, state that the company is waiting for wearable components to shrink and for processors to gain efficiency before moving forward with a successor to the Huawei Watch. Even if the rumor is true, this smartwatch certainly won’t make an appearance until sometime in 2017, at the earliest.