Next-gen. Asustek ZenWatch on track for release in early Q3: CEO - Focus Taiwan

Next-gen. Asustek ZenWatch on track for release in early Q3: CEO

Taipei, May 12 (CNA) The chief executive of Asustek Computer Inc. (華碩) confirmed Tuesday that the company's second-generation ZenWatch will hit stores in the early third quarter as planned, describing an earlier report that the new smartwatch launch has been delayed as a misunderstanding.

The launch timetable for the smartwatch running on Google Inc.'s Android Wear operating system "remains unchanged," Asustek CEO Jerry Shen (沈振來) told a press briefing after an earnings conference for investors.

The second-generation ZenWatch will be showcased at Computex Taipei, the world's second-biggest computer trade show, scheduled for June 2-6, with sales of the device to begin in the early third quarter, Shen said.

While the Android Wear watch will feature many improvements in user experience, demand for the new ZenWatch might not pick up as rapidly as the company's low-cost ZenFone range, Shen said, citing a lower-than-expected battery life.

Compared with the first-generation ZenWatch that lasts for up to two days, the successor has a battery life of less than four days on a single charge, which fails to meet Shen's expectation of seven days, he added.

The CEO also forecast that Asustek's total smartwatch shipments will reach less than 1 million units this year and will not make a significant contribution to the company's total revenue.

Shen's comment came after Indian media outlet NDTV Gadgets cited him as reporting April 27 that Asustek will not launch its second-generation ZenWatch until next year, as the Taiwanese PC maker is working to improve the watch's performance.

Research firm Canalys revealed that only a little over 720,000 Android Wear-powered devices were shipped in 2014, which accounted for roughly 16 percent of the total 4.6 million smart wearable band shipments.

(By Jeffrey Wu) ENDITEM/J

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