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Circuit Breaker

OnePlus designed a smartwatch but scrapped plans to release it

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Sometimes a small company has to be realistic about its product roadmap. That discipline can be the difference between building a sustainable business or one that quickly collapses. According to The Wall Street Journal, OnePlus dealt with that very realization last year when the company — known for delivering flagship-grade smartphones priced far below competitors — walked away from developing a smartwatch. “We had completed the design but we still decided to scrap it,” OnePlus founder and CEO Pete Lau said in an interview. “We have to be focused.”

The interview doesn't reveal anything else about the abandoned wearable. The likely scenario is that it would've been powered by Android Wear, but Lau didn't offer any insight into the design or inspiration behind what ultimately became a scrapped product.

In 2014, these leaked images (which could very well be completely bogus) showed a OnePlus smartwatch that looked not unlike a Moto 360, with a circular display and leather bands. But perhaps Lau and the OnePlus team realized that it would've been significantly harder to standout in the wearables market versus the reputation that the company has staked in phones. There's only so much customization you can do with Android Wear, and Huawei, LG, and Moto are already making rather nice hardware. In deciding not to release a smartwatch, OnePlus apparently found enough "focus" to release its next major device straight to consumers, free of the waiting lists and invite systems that came alongside earlier smartphones. It's set to debut on June 14th, and we've already got a decent idea of what the OnePlus 3 will look like.