Sony to shun Android Wear in favor of its own SmartWatch platform
When Google introduced us to Android Wear last week, it announced that it had already signed on a number of partners to work with its new platform, including big names like Asus, LG, HTC, Motorola and Samsung. One name that's noticeably absent from that list is Sony, and it turns out that that omission is intentional.
Sony has confirmed to CNET that it doesn't plan to use Android Wear on its SmartWatch products. Instead, it will continue to use the Android-based SmartWatch software that's powered its previous pieces of wristwear. "We've already invested time and resources on this platform, and we will continue in that direction," explained Ravi Nookala, who serves as president of Sony Mobile Communications U.S. Despite the fact that it doesn't plan to use Android Wear, Nookala promises that Sony is continuing to work with Google on its devices.
Sony has been in the wearables game longer than many other manufacturers, and so I can understand that the company wouldn't want to throw away all of the effort that it's invested in its own SmartWatch platform. Still, because Android Wear is Google's official platform for wearable devices, I've got a feeling that most folks are going to focus on those devices. Plus, the fact that so many other manufacturers are on board with Android Wear means that that software has a greater chance at gaining a wide user base than Sony's SmartWatches.
Nookala went on to talk a bit about the Sony Xperia Z1S, which is available exclusively on T-Mobile in the U.S. The exec said that the device is performing better than Sony had anticipated, with sales "20 percent to 25 percent" above what the original Xperia Z had sold on T-Mobile during the same period of time. As for when we might see Xperia phones on other U.S. carriers? Nookala was a little less forthcoming on that front, saying only that Sony is holding talks with all of the major operators.