HTC's Android Wear watch might not be dead after all

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Credit: Michael Homnick

HTC might not have killed its plans for a smartwatch, despite an earlier rumor to the contrary.

Unnamed sources now tell CNET that HTC will release a smartwatch in early 2015, refuting an earlier report that said HTC was scared off by “rising costs and a lack of wow factor.”

If anything, those are just challenges that HTC plans to address when it finally does release its first wearable. Details on the device are still unclear, but CNET says that HTC is working on a design and features that stand out from other devices on the market, while basing the watch off Google's Android Wear platform.

However, HTC may be limited in how much it can do on the software side. Google isn't allowing device makers to skin Android Wear the same way they can with Android phones, as the company aims for a more consistent experience across devices. “The device manufacturers can brand it, and they might have services that they want to include with it, but otherwise it should be the same,” Google engineering director David Burke told Ars Technica in June.

Still, there's room for HTC to stand out, especially on the design front. With smartwatches, the form is just as important as the function, and Android Wear watch makers are still struggling to accommodate a wide variety of wrists. HTC has shown that it can design slick-looking smartphones, so hopefully it hasn't given up on bringing that same stylishness to wearable tech.

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