Google Fuels 'Pixel Watch' Rumors in $40 Million Deal for Fossil Smartwatch Tech

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Google and watchmaker Fossil Group today jointly announced a $40 million deal that will see the search giant take ownership of a portion of Fossil's smartwatch technology.

Fossil Sport smartwatch

The deal, which is being described as "transactional" and will see some of Fossil's R&D division join Google, will lead to the launch of a "new product innovation that's not yet hit the market," said Fossil VP and chief strategy officer Greg McKelvey.

Speaking to Wearable, McKelvey said the new product is based on technology that Fossil has been developing out of its $260 million Misfit acquisition in 2015. "It's new to the market technology and we think it's a product that has features and benefits that aren't in the category today," he added.

Google confirmed that the new product line will join the Wear OS family, although neither company revealed when the products that eventually emerge out of the partnership would be launched.

The deal is naturally fueling speculation that Google is planning an own-branded direct competitor to Apple Watch. Tentatively billed the "Pixel Watch" by market watchers, the new line is said to be made up of three models, codenamed Ling, Triton, and Sardine, although the details end there.

Google is known to be working on new fitness and health tracking features for its Wear OS, which could theoretically make their debut in the rumored watch, while Fossil recently diverged from its step-counting wristwatch range by announcing a Wear OS-based dedicated Sport smartwatch with built-in GPS and heart-rate sensor, suggesting today's deal could result in a new fitness-focused device.

Article Link: Google Fuels 'Pixel Watch' Rumors in $40 Million Deal for Fossil Smartwatch Tech
 
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locovaca

macrumors regular
May 14, 2002
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Android Wear has done nothing but get worse since it’s original release. The Android 2 update made it clumsy to use, watches are still released with missing features (nfc is still hard to find), and the usability of a round screen pales to that of a square. The text density alone makes it hard to use.

I had both an LG G Watch and a Moto 360 sport. The only feature I missed was the transreflective display on the 360 which gave you a low power, always on display. Even in direct sunlight it was 100% readable.
 

pika2000

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
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Meh. Google did this to get some patents, just like what they did with Motorola. Sure, there might be a wearable or two released, but then Google will ditch the company just like what they did to Motorola.

If google really wants to make a great WearOS device, they should be talking to Qualcomm who intentionally does nothing to improve their wearable chips. That or start making their own chips. Android wear is dead, with ancient hardware and OS that has no vision.
[doublepost=1547815904][/doublepost]
Android Wear has done nothing but get worse since it’s original release. The Android 2 update made it clumsy to use, watches are still released with missing features (nfc is still hard to find), and the usability of a round screen pales to that of a square. The text density alone makes it hard to use.

I had both an LG G Watch and a Moto 360 sport. The only feature I missed was the transreflective display on the 360 which gave you a low power, always on display. Even in direct sunlight it was 100% readable.
I too have (and loved) the Moto 360 (original and sport). But google has no vision on what WearOS should be. Add on to Qualcomm behaving like a monopoly and does zero innovation, to me the platform is dead. Now I just use a Huawei band with my Android phones. Not a full smart watch, but at least it’s something and the battery can last for weeks.
 

RickInHouston

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2014
1,434
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The OS that has no vision? That's a good one!

Being able to allow the phone to answer a call for you? The AI they are developing to make reservations and appointments for you? The 'no vision OS is going to make a Grand Canyon leap that will be unable to be caught very soon. Makes driverless cars seem like iOS.
 

azbronco

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2018
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I think the comment was that Wear OS has no vision, not Android. About a year ago I wanted an Android watch and was hopeful the new OS would give it the same functionality as Apple Watch. But there really wasn’t anything that had all the features. One had GPS but no NFC, or maybe one didn’t have a heart rate monitor. And don’t even get me started on Qualcomm—they single handed my killed the non-Apple market in watched with their lack of R&D.

Fossil is probably the best Wear OS watch on the market so it was the right acquisition for Google. But right now, Samsung is the second best smart watch behind Apple—too bad it doesn’t have full compatibility with non-Samsung phones.
 

HacKage

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2010
413
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Meh. Google did this to get some patents, just like what they did with Motorola. Sure, there might be a wearable or two released, but then Google will ditch the company just like what they did to Motorola.

If google really wants to make a great WearOS device, they should be talking to Qualcomm who intentionally does nothing to improve their wearable chips. That or start making their own chips. Android wear is dead, with ancient hardware and OS that has no vision.
[doublepost=1547815904][/doublepost]
I too have (and loved) the Moto 360 (original and sport). But google has no vision on what WearOS should be. Add on to Qualcomm behaving like a monopoly and does zero innovation, to me the platform is dead. Now I just use a Huawei band with my Android phones. Not a full smart watch, but at least it’s something and the battery can last for weeks.
I have seen this mentioned a few times with increasing regularity on here due to Apple's legal battles with them. They are not acting like a monopoly. There are other, poorer options out there for manufacturers to use. Whether that is mobile SoC or modems for use in handsets, there are other options. Qualcomm is just decades ahead of everyone else. Should they just stop what they are doing to allow everyone else to catch up?
With Android Wear, they chucked out an old SoC that the original OEMS used. This wasn't energy efficient at all, but it was all there was at the time. The wearables market looked absolutely stagnant, with even the original Apple Watch being a bit "meh". Apple Watch gained traction, but Android Wears multiple options didn't. There were no sales figures big enough for Qualcomm to decide to release a new, more power efficient SoC until very recently, by which point it was too late.

This is not Qualcomms problem. It was all the OEMS making massive, ugly watches with limited functionality that crushed all but any chance Android Wear had.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
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the usability of a round screen pales to that of a square. The text density alone makes it hard to use.
Is it actually required that the display be round? I assumed that was just an aesthetic choice that the hardware manufacturers were making, not something imposed by the OS...

Seems bizarre that the OS would impose a round screen, but make hardware like NFC or GPS optional...
 

pika2000

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
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I have seen this mentioned a few times with increasing regularity on here due to Apple's legal battles with them. They are not acting like a monopoly. There are other, poorer options out there for manufacturers to use. Whether that is mobile SoC or modems for use in handsets, there are other options. Qualcomm is just decades ahead of everyone else. Should they just stop what they are doing to allow everyone else to catch up?
With Android Wear, they chucked out an old SoC that the original OEMS used. This wasn't energy efficient at all, but it was all there was at the time. The wearables market looked absolutely stagnant, with even the original Apple Watch being a bit "meh". Apple Watch gained traction, but Android Wears multiple options didn't. There were no sales figures big enough for Qualcomm to decide to release a new, more power efficient SoC until very recently, by which point it was too late.

This is not Qualcomms problem. It was all the OEMS making massive, ugly watches with limited functionality that crushed all but any chance Android Wear had.
It’s both Google and Qualcomm problem, not the OEMs. The OEMs are not the ones making an old chip with zero innovation nor an OS with no vision. If there were real competition in wearable SoC, Qualcomm would’ve made something better, but they don’t. That’s a clear indication of monopoly market where there’s zero innovation.

Apple is separate in this game as they make their own chips and OS. Anybody else wanting to create a smart watch are stuck with Android WearOS and a lousy chip from Qualcomm.
 

timber

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2006
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The iphone faces more competition from older iPhones than other android phones.

I don’t expect anything different here. The Apple Watch market is basically the smart watch market at this point.
All of that is true but the Watch is still locked to the iPhone and the iPhone itself at some time was also the smart phone market.

If Apple allow the Watch to work freely or linked to an Android phone it could do an iPod.

Apple itself which can have 100% focus and resources concentration only recently somewhat decided that the watch is a health/fitness device. So it isn't surprising others can't figure out what to do with watches.
 
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pika2000

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
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Now Google will only be 8 years behind instead of a decade.
Google doesn’t care. All they wanted are the patents, just like when they bought Motorola. Once the paperworks are done, they will ditch the company just like they did Motorola.
 

locovaca

macrumors regular
May 14, 2002
182
118
Iowa
Is it actually required that the display be round? I assumed that was just an aesthetic choice that the hardware manufacturers were making, not something imposed by the OS...

Seems bizarre that the OS would impose a round screen, but make hardware like NFC or GPS optional...
It’s not required that I’ve seen but nobody is producing square watches, despite the success of the Apple Watch.
 

HacKage

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2010
413
694
It’s both Google and Qualcomm problem, not the OEMs. The OEMs are not the ones making an old chip with zero innovation nor an OS with no vision. If there were real competition in wearable SoC, Qualcomm would’ve made something better, but they don’t. That’s a clear indication of monopoly market where there’s zero innovation.

Apple is separate in this game as they make their own chips and OS. Anybody else wanting to create a smart watch are stuck with Android WearOS and a lousy chip from Qualcomm.
They could have used any chip available on the market, whether that is from Qualcomm, Mediatek, spoke with Samsung to license theirs. There was no compelling reason for Qualcomm to develop a new chip based on the amount of devices sold. Accusing a company of running a monopoly because they don't plough millions of dollars into developing a product for a failing market is nonsense.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
Is it actually required that the display be round? I assumed that was just an aesthetic choice that the hardware manufacturers were making, not something imposed by the OS...

Seems bizarre that the OS would impose a round screen, but make hardware like NFC or GPS optional...
The OS doesn't impose a round screen. It is an aesthetic choice by OEM's. There have been several square-ish watches like the ASUS ZenWatch and Sony Smartwatch. Not Wear OS, but Sammy's also had... well, every shape imaginable including dodecahedron.
 

pika2000

macrumors 603
Jun 22, 2007
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They could have used any chip available on the market, whether that is from Qualcomm, Mediatek, spoke with Samsung to license theirs. There was no compelling reason for Qualcomm to develop a new chip based on the amount of devices sold. Accusing a company of running a monopoly because they don't plough millions of dollars into developing a product for a failing market is nonsense.
You are making the assumption that Qualcomm actually put some money in their wearable platform. They don't. Even the "latest" 3100 is still the same old 28mm Cortex A7 derived from the ancient SD400.
It's clear that Qualcomm and Google are the problem when Samsung, a major partner of those two, decided to do their own hardware and OS for their watches.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,307
30,545
Too bad Pebble wasn't around. Just looking for a smart watch with notifications, music and time. Don't need health or gps tracking.
Pebble failed to market their products. They actually made a decent smart watch with E-ink displays, and they started releasing a round version, with casing colors, additional bands, ect. But the main core of their issue why they met their demise, they never marketed their products and were rarely available in stores. Where as the Apple Watch expanded to third-party retailers and beyond. If Pebble would have placed more effort in marketing, and expanded into third-party retailers more widely, they may have survived longer, but I question how much longer pending the growth of the Apple Watch.
 
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