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Only 25% of Android phones support Android Wear

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Only 25% of Android phones support Android Wear
If you're planning on purchasing one of those new Android Wear flavored smartwatches, here is something that you need to consider. These wearables require that the syncing Android smartphone used, be powered by Android 4.3 or higher. The problem is that this requirement quickly eliminates 75% of Android smartphones from being used with an Android Wear smartwatch.

The latest Android distribution figures showed 23.9% of Android handsets powered by Android 4.3 and Android 4.4. That dramatically cuts the possible pool of potential customers for the LG G Watch, and the Samsung Gear Live. The Motorola Moto 360 also is powered by Android Wear, but won't be available until later this summer.

Because of this requirement, if you are planning on buying someone an Android Wear powered smartwatch, you're going to have to know which Android smartphone they use.  And if it's an Android phone that doesn't run Jelly Bean or KitKat, you will either have to get them a different gift, or buy them a new Android phone that runs on either build of Android, along with the watch.

If you're unsure whether or not a specific Android phone will work with your Android Wear watch, our data base contains the latest information. Just type in the name of the phone from our site search, and click on the image of the phone under "Phone Specifications".

source: TechCrunch

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posted on 28 Jun 2014, 16:04 8

1. darkkjedii (Posts: 12640; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


I think it'll be about the same for iPhones, and the iWatch. I doubt anything older than the 4s will support it.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 16:08 4

4. nctx77 (Posts: 576; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


Nah, it will be anything running ios7 which is on like 80/90% of all iPhones.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 16:20 3

9. fzacek (Posts: 2223; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


I doubt iOS 7 will support the iWatch. iOS 7 and the iWatch are probably coming out at the same time, so it would make sense for iOS 8 to be used with the iWatch...

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 16:32 1

11. darkkjedii (Posts: 12640; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


I wonder if they'll make the 4 compatible. Single core 800 MHz CPU, might not be able to handle it.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 23:34

31. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1896; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


According to the interweb, the 4s and newer are compatible with iBeacon. They need to have BT 4.0 with dual mode for it to work, and apparently Apple started that on the 4s.

Now that only means that hardware and newer is compatible, that doesn't mean the software will be available back to 4s. But hardware wise it should work.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 16:47 2

12. Finalflash (Posts: 1908; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Doubt it, Apple's history suggests they will withhold it from anything that cannot run iOS 8 and even some that can. Since the health app is only available in iOS 8 I doubt they would allow iOS 7 to work with it and not be able to track its data.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 17:30

15. nctx77 (Posts: 576; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


The health app doesn't require anything special. It will be released with iPhone 6/ios 8, but will probably be released to the App Store. With that being said, ios 8 will be supported all the way down to the iPhone 4s. That still would be like 70% of the iPhone market.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 21:09 2

27. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


Let's not forget even though apple will put ios 8 on older devices, it necessarily won't have every single features from the full ios 8,some things may be held back due to hardware, some things will be left out because apple will want to keep exclusive for the newer devices . Also my guess is whatever wearable apple makes it will make likwly be using Bluetooth 4.1 le for the battery efficiency so chances are the devices that have Bluetooth 4.1 le will only be supported.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 16:17 4

7. fzacek (Posts: 2223; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


Since the iPhone 4 isn't getting iOS 8, it probably won't support the iWatch either. Well, I've got to say that it has gotten software updates and been a great phone for 4 years, much longer than any Android phone...

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 17:33 2

16. nctx77 (Posts: 576; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


Lol! Like I said above, even if you eliminate the iPhone 4 which came out 4 years ago, there will still be about 70% of iPhones that will support the iwatch. Like you said earlier, if you are still rocking an iPhone 4 in 2014/2015, you wasn't going to buy an iwatch anyway.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 08:51

36. j2001m (Posts: 67; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


Google updates most services every 6 week to about 96% of phones

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 16:05 1

2. zhiae (Posts: 180; Member since: 26 Aug 2012)


thats not bad i m sure its about battery life
even galaxy s3 runs 4.3 2012

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 16:06 9

3. fzacek (Posts: 2223; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


Most of the mainstream devices from Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, and Motorola have been updated to at least Android 4.3, and the owners of those phones are the people who will most likely buy a smartwatch. If you own a cheap Android that runs an ancient Android version, chances are you're probably not willing to spend $200+ on an accessory for that phone...

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 16:10 2

5. nctx77 (Posts: 576; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


With that being said, I guess we see where most of the android marketshare comes from. CHEAP PHONES!!!

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 16:18 5

8. fzacek (Posts: 2223; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


So what? It's only because Apple makes their phones way overpriced...

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 16:59 5

13. Finalflash (Posts: 1908; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Lol that is cute, seeing as how the quoted 23% number alone means almost 300 million devices. By the end of that year that number will be over half a billion, meaning almost as much as the competition has sold in their lifetime of smartphone sales. I think their prospects for sales are perfectly fine, the article is just trying to sensationalize nothing.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 17:25 2

14. willard12 (Posts: 887; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


At $197 to manufacture, cheap phones are where iOS get all of its market share.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 17:35 2

17. nctx77 (Posts: 576; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


Yea but what's funny is that this is evidence that only 30% of android phones are highend.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 17:44 2

18. fzacek (Posts: 2223; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


That is a fact. Most people with low income have low-end Androids...

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 17:46 5

19. Jason2k13 (Posts: 657; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


Please explain why that's funny? Is there anything wrong with low or Mid range phones? Isn't it nice that Android supports everyone of different income?

Here's something funny, Apple doesn't care about the poor.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 17:55 1

20. nctx77 (Posts: 576; Member since: 03 Sep 2013)


It just means that Apple doesn't really compete with the low end, so when you compare marketshare, you only need to look at 30% of the Android Market.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 18:31 1

22. WinDroid (Posts: 77; Member since: 20 May 2014)


that's not true. You should compare everything. Every person counts, don't try to act like poor people don't buy apps. Just they don't see a need for a 1080P Display (I don't either though, wish I could get high end specs with 720P Display, would get amazon phone if it wasn't locked to at&t).

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 19:27 2

25. techperson211 (Posts: 710; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


Your opinion is so absurd . Apple not competing in low end? Then what the heck is 5c for? A recycled overpriced iPhone 5 with a plastic garbage back cover doing in their company.? Tell me this is a high end phone.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 10:55

38. elitewolverine (Posts: 2068; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Because the android camp is consistently knocking other devices that are 'cheap'. Specificially aimed at say....MS because their 520/521 was a hit at a cheaper price.

Yet I can go get a brand new, brand new mind you, android 2.3 phone today. Not used, refurbished, brand new at my local Walmart. The cheapest WP is the 520/521 and they will be getting updates that the 2.3 wish it could get via android 4.4 kitkat.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 20:23

26. xfire99 (Posts: 570; Member since: 14 Mar 2012)


Its better than iphones 25% that are highend. In short only 1 model 5S . -.-

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 23:50

32. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1896; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Not necessarily. I know quite a few people who are still using older high end phones. Of the 2 of my brothers that have smart phones, one is a Droid Incredible (the original one), and the other has an LG Lucid.

Not everyone upgrades every two years. Younger people probably will, but older customers tend to use them until they fail. All they need a smartphone for is calls, texts, and some web browsing. Even the original Motorola Droid could still handle that. The brother with the Incredible only has 10 apps downloaded, the rest were what came with the phone.

I'm not saying that lower end phones don't contribute to that number, but that number is also counting countries were the population may be to poor to even afford anything beyond their smartphone, and it could very well be their sole source for internet. The reason Apple doesn't have a presence there is because most of the populace can't afford an idevice.

You make it sound like a bad thing that Android OEMS are offering them a way to be connected. A lower end phone is better than none at all.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 16:17 4

6. rob5150 (Posts: 130; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Of course. Why shouldn't the population be treated to a mainstream operating system?
Look at windows PC's, low end to high end are supported.

Is there some social prejudice that you have about lower income people shouldn't have access?

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 16:26

10. marbovo (Posts: 658; Member since: 16 May 2013)


take my thumb... lol

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 18:21 1

21. billgates (banned) (Posts: 555; Member since: 29 May 2014)


While that is.a staggeringly low percentage you could expect all future things on a old phone. If someone is buying a watch of this nature would most likely be buying or already own a better phone

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 18:43

23. Basharhd99 (Posts: 31; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


Typo! you wrote android gear instead of android wear in the last line of the second paragraph ;)

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 19:23 1

24. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1291; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


My coworker has a old crappy Android phone but I doubt she would care about this watch. She needs a new phone before she needs a watch. The phone is so old I think she is still running 2.x. And that's the issue; she does not use the phone like me or you. Most people running these old phones don't care. It's not my business to care about what people own.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 23:57 1

33. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1896; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


Exactly, as I posted above, my brother is still using a Droid Incredible running Gingerbread. And his kids are using a Samsung Stratosphere (the first) and an HTC Resound. I believe the Samsung is on ICS and the HTC is on JB. And while they're younger, 21 and 20 years old, they're happy to have a smartphone no matter how old it is. As they move up in the world they'll upgrade to higher end devices, but they're not ones to upgrade every year or two.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 21:15 2

28. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


So at this moment it's around 250 million, which isn't bad and my guess is come the end of the year, with more phones updated and more phones sold with never version of Android installed I would expect that to have doubled. For relative new market that number is quite big to target and only going to get bigger and also my guess is anyone using really old Android os, chances are they just don't care, my guess is any real interest will be with the spec heads, tech heads etc and chances are they are on the latest and greatest of there about.

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 22:24

29. Troysyx (Posts: 150; Member since: 30 Jul 2012)


Oh no! So only 250,000,000 android phones are capable?!?!?

posted on 28 Jun 2014, 23:14

30. lolatfailphones (Posts: 153; Member since: 08 Apr 2013)


I wouldn't brag about 250,000,000 when "Android" doesn't manufacture anything they just supply the OS. All android manufactors put together makes up that number which I don't find impressive...

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 00:02 1

34. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1896; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


It may not seem like much, but that puts the total number of devices at around a billion. And while you may scoff at the lower end phones, for some people that's all they can afford and at least some OEMS are giving them an option. A low end phone is better than none at all.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 01:04 2

35. joey_sfb (Posts: 3245; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Spot on! Its good that Google V President care with his Android One project.

Better than what Tim Cook said, we are not in the business of selling junk. He will be eating his own words soon. Relaunching an iPhone 4 8G in 2014 for US$399 is just insulting.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 11:12

39. lolatfailphones (Posts: 153; Member since: 08 Apr 2013)


I believe he meant that they don't sell phones that will stop functioning properly after several months. I live in Jamaica and there are a lot of "cheap android phones" around here and I tell you after 3 or do months those said cheap phones start to be almost unusable. So let Apple sell whatever they want at any price they want cuz it's your choice to buy it or not and in other words people are still using iPhone 3G and it works flawlessly.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 19:11

40. joey_sfb (Posts: 3245; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Snob. You really believe the only Apple can made quality products.

Apple products normally get obsolete by Apple via Software before it even break.

Ask user that wanted Airplay in their mac but does not qualify cause his Macbook is not the most recent.

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 23:49

41. VZWuser76 (Posts: 1896; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)


So because some android manufacturers sell low quality phones, all of them are bad? Here's a thought, if it craps out after 3 months, I don't know, try something else! Maybe try going with a low end phone from an international manufacturer like Motorola, Samsung, LG, or HTC.

Also, figure out how to use the phrase "in other words" correctly. Like if I said, "The guy's not very smart, in other words he's an idiot."

posted on 29 Jun 2014, 10:16

37. rallyguy (Posts: 574; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


I would disagree totally with the author, again.

The people most likely to buy a smart watch already have a high end smart phone. If your paying $15 a month for a pre-paid phone that cost $20, then your most likely not interested or can't pay hundreds for a watch.

I don't say it to demean anyone. Many people just can't afford it, because of the economy or other reasons.

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