The Huawei Watch, unveiled at Mobile World Congress, use Android Wear, enabling Huawei to leverage Google's Wear app ecosystem and wide range of wearable apps. Without such apps, a smart watch is little different from existing watches. But, the Android Wear choice has downsides, too. Huawei must rely on hardware design and features to differentiate from other company's smart watches.
Huawei's choice to use a fully circular screen—unlike the flat tyre displays of other circular smart watches—is especially important given the limitations Android Wear imposes on user interface customization. Huawei is aiming for a premium design complete with a highly scratch resistant sapphire screen.
New Market, Longterm Aspirations
This market is still new and emerging, but Huawei clearly has bigger aspirations than hardware alone—it also is developing its own health ecosystem. This is a long term strategy and will have little immediate impact on the fortunes of Huawei Watch.
Success Depends On…
Instead, this product's success depends on many factors: Huawei's ability to execute a reliable mass market smart watch at a good price, but also key factors outside Huawei's control such as the fortunes of Google's Android Wear platform and the reception to Apple Watch. If Apple Watch were to stumble, it could set back the whole market. If it's a blinding success, then Huawei may be too far behind by the time the Huawei Watch eventually goes on sale in mid-2015.
Questions or comments on this story? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org