While Google and its partners introduced several attractive smartwatches powered by the Android Wear operating system at Google IO this week, this does not mean that they are going to revolutionize the market shortly. Apparently, less than a quarter of all Android-based smartphones are compatible with Android Wear devices.
Android Wear is designed to work with Android phones running version 4.3 or higher. According to Google itself, only 13.6 per cent of devices currently in use are powered by the Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” and only around 10.3 per cent use the Android 4.3 “Jelly Bean” operating system. As it appears, 23.9 per cent of active Google Android devices are compatible with Google Wear gadgets, reports TechCrunch.
There about a billion of Android-based devices currently in use, which means that there are hundreds of millions of smartphones compatible with the Android Wear. Not bad for a start, isn't it?
Fragmentation is a well-known problem of the Android platform in general. The vast majority of Android-based handsets – 60.4 per cent – are powered by Android versions 4.0, 4.1 or 4.2. Some of the smartphones featuring those outdated builds of the OS can be upgraded to the version 4.3 and become Android Wear-compatible. The only question is whether makers of those devices will actually release appropriate updates for particular smartphones.
Since users buy new handsets every two or three years, eventually all smartphones featuring the Android OS will be compatible with Android Wear. However, this year far not all potential customers will buy Android Wear smartwatches due to compatibility concerns.
If you plan to improve your user experience by acquiring an Android Wear-based gadget this fall, check out a special page to find out whether your smartphone is compatible with wearable devices based on the aforementioned platform.
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KitGuru Says: It remains to be seen how many smartwatches will be sold this year. The installed base of Android Wear-compatible smartphones should be between 150 and 200 million of units, which is a huge market. Still, companies like Asus, Motorola, LG, Samsung and other yet have to prove that their smartwatches are actually useful and bring tangible advantages…