HTC’s first wearable device is expected to debut soon and it might surprise with support for both Google Android handset and Apple iPhones. That’s based on details posted by Upleaks, which generally has a good track record at getting information in advance of product launches.
A look at the Uplinks specifications list for the HTC Petra, the reported code name for the device, reminds me much of the Microsoft Band both in functionality and potential design. For example, this won’t be a round or square watch, which is typical of similar products, due to the alleged 1.8-inch curved OLED display and its 160 x 32 resolution screen. Although that resolution sounds low to me, it would be rectangular like the Band, which uses a 320 x 106 resolution display.
Upleaks says the software inside Petra is HTC’s own, not [company]Google[/company] Android Wear, which currently doesn’t support any other software platforms such as iOS or Windows Phone. The device is expected to have both Bluetooth and GPS, allowing for phone connectivity when required, but possibly used as a standalone exercise tracker on its own. Likely features include an alarm, timer, stopwatch, remote music and camera shutter control, sleep tracking, weather information and phone notifications. Battery life is expected to be three days.
If Upleaks is correct, this would be a smart approach for HTC because it gives the company a chance to branch out. Most of HTC’s current focus is on Android phones as the company has little to offer [company]Apple[/company] iPhone owners. Indeed, HTC said last month that it plans to bring “a line of connected health and fitness-related devices” in part to broaden its reach.
I’m not sure many iPhone users will bite on an HTC health-tracker with the Apple Watch shipping in two months, but it’s worth a try, particularly because a device like this shouldn’t cost nearly as much. Besides, the Android Wear market is fairly crowded already so it would be fairly difficult for HTC to differentiate itself from Samsung, Sony, Asus, LG and Motorola at this point.