Fossil has a new Wear OS smartwatch but no more updates for existing devices in the pipeline

Fossil has a new Wear OS smartwatch but no more updates for existing devices in the pipeline
For the first time in a really long time (ever?), Google seems to be taking its mission to provide stiff competition for Apple in the ever-growing smartwatch market seriously. 

Although it remains unclear exactly how the Wear OS platform (or is it just Wear now?) will change and evolve in the next few months, the search giant has both Fitbit and Samsung in its corner all of a sudden to help close the functionality and especially the utility gap to watchOS.

Unfortunately, it looks like the merger between Android WearWear OS Wear and Samsung's Tizen OS may cause quite a bit of collateral damage for a pretty large number of existing Apple Watch alternatives, all of which will apparently be snubbed from receiving Google's major software updates starting sometime in the fall.

The end has come for the Fossil Gen 5, Gen 5E, and many others

Yes, we're talking about both Tizen-powered Samsung Galaxy Watches, and according to a fresh Cnet report, Wear OS-running Fossil devices. The latter omission is much more disheartening than the former, of course, given that Samsung solemnly vowed not long ago to continue supporting those intelligent timepieces unable to make the jump to the next Wear version.

As far as Fossil-made smartwatches are concerned, this looks like the end of the update road, and as much as we'd want to cut the company some slack, it's hard to defend or justify the move in a way meant to appease its customers. Especially customers who purchased a member of the reasonably priced Fossil Gen 5E family since its commercial debut last year.

That's right, Fossil is dropping software support for a one year-old device, not to mention all the (slightly higher-end) 2019-released smartwatches sold under several different brands, which the US-based Group is also abandoning far too early.

On the bright side, that means devices like the Fossil Gen 5, Gen 5E, and the recently discounted Skagen Falster 3 will presumably continue to receive deeper and deeper price cuts, although their value is clearly debatable with a bunch of heavyweight contenders for the title of best smartwatch money can buy in 2021 undoubtedly in the pipeline.

But every end is a new beginning

With little to no success so far achieved on the big scale of the global wearable industry, Fossil is looking towards a premium next-gen smartwatch with the hope of finally putting a dent in Apple's crushing supremacy.

This is shaping up as a "pretty major" upgrade from a hardware standpoint, according to the company's senior VP of connected devices, and unsurprisingly, the otherwise mysterious intelligent timepiece will also integrate "all of the software benefits that Google's talking about."

Interestingly, Fossil's plan remains to flood the market with numerous devices sold under many brands while sharing pretty much the same exact specifications. Alas, none of these specs are out yet, but battery life, overall performance, and health monitoring should all be vastly improved thanks to Fossil, Google, Samsung, and even Fitbit.

Speaking of Fitbit, it sounds like Fossil is pinning its hopes on Google's fitness-focused subsidiary to somehow breathe new life into a portfolio of so-called hybrid smartwatches that received plenty of media attention at one point without converting that into satisfactory sales results.

In case you're wondering, the LTE-enabled Fossil Gen 5 lineup is viewed by its manufacturers as a commercial success, although the company isn't ready to make any actual numbers public at the moment to support that claim. That also makes the decision to halt software support even harder to swallow... until you consider the possibility that this might all be Google's fault.

As we understand it, the unified Wear/Tizen platform is being built with "premium" smartwatches powered by blazing fast new processors in mind, which means that the problem with all those 2019 and 2020-released Fossil devices is most likely Qualcomm's older and slower Snapdragon 3100 chipset. In that case, we can at least hold out hope of seeing the Snapdragon 4100-powered Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 updated to the next Wear OS version... sooner or later.

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless