Most Pokémon Go fans have already given up on the app coming to Apple Watch, but a Tweet early this morning on the @PokemonGoApp account shows that those plans may not be dead in the water just yet.
Both Apple and Niantic, the game’s developers, said this September that the app would make its appearance on Apple Watch (watchOS) before the end of the year. However, rumors later surfaced that the project was shelved, and 9to5Mac later confirmed this fact.
But it appears now that Pokémon Go may still come to Apple Watch. Will it come this year? We don’t know for sure. The tweet said “soon”, and that’s about the only clue as far as a timeline goes. It’s likely that they’ll want to release it ahead of 2017, but that’s just speculation for now. With less than two weeks to go before the year is out, it’s going to be a guessing game at best.
Incidentally, 9to5Mac also reached out to Niantic earlier this week to get some sort of confirmation on a possible 2016 arrival for Pokémon Go on Apple Watch, but no firm response was forthcoming.
Meanwhile, Niantic released its own wearable for Pokémon Go back in September, dubbed the Pokemon Go Plus. It’s a wrist wearable with a watch face shaped like one of those location pointers on Google Maps that Niantic also uses in Pokémon Go. It retails for about $60 on Amazon.com and is basically a Bluetooth bracelet with an LED light that blinks when it senses Pokémon or other players nearby, and it works with both Android and iOS devices.
What’s interesting is the fact that Pokémon Go Plus units sold out almost instantly at the launch. Could this have made Niantic waver on their decision to bring the app to Apple Watch? That’s still uncertain, yet not an unfounded assumption by any means. If that’s the real reason, then why would they decide to once again revive their plans to bring the app to Apple Watch? Did demand for Pokémon Go Plus suddenly dip, and the company decided that they had better leverage Apple’s iPhone user base before it was too late?
It’s quite possible that Niantic now intends to piggyback on Apple Watch’s success thus far. Apple certainly won’t have a problem with that. Apple Watch seems to be a holiday favorite – if CEO Tim Cook is right – so, getting the Pokémon Go app on their product could boost sales by that much more. That’s something they sorely need after closing fiscal 2016 with less-than-optimal growth numbers on the devices front.
We invite you to read the following articles to get the bigger picture of where Apple is headed.
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