There’s firm, tough leadership, and then there’s … whatever this is.
Calling one of your company’s newest high-profile releases essentially useless probably isn’t the best way to boost team morale but that didn’t stop Huawei Deputy Chairman and rotating CEO Eric Xu Zhijun from trashing even the concept of a smartwatch.
I am always confused as to what smartwatches are for when we have smartphones, he said, declaring he’d never wear one of the devices during a Q&A session at Huaweis 2017 Global Analyst Summit event in China, according to the South China Morning Post.
Huawei recently released the Watch 2, an Android Wear 2.0-based update to its smartwatch line. Our verdict? Meh. Sounds like Xu agrees.
Xu even doubled down on his statement, dragging the company’s wearable development team a bit for good measure. “Therefore, when the smartwatch team in Huawei presents their ideas to me with great excitement, I keep reminding them to consider whether there are tangible needs [for these products] in the market,” he continued.
That’s just cold.
But Xu’s comments aren’t just based on some grudge against the Huawei team: It’s no secret that consumers are struggling to find uses for smartwatches and wearables on the whole, and Apple dominates the space. Wearable companies are stumbling, most notably Fitbit, which laid off 6 percent of its staff to start the year and reportedly has faced major roadblocks in the development of its first true smartwatch.
For other companies to truly break through the barriers of consumer indifference and Apple’s stranglehold on the market, finding those tangible needs, like Xu demands, could be the only way forward. In the future, we might see Huawei put out some really revolutionary wearable tech or absolutely nothing at all.