In recent years, Fossil has been the largest Wear OS manufacturer given how different brands use the same underlying platform. In an interview today, Fossil revealed that a premium Gen 6 device was made that took advantage of the new Wear OS this autumn.
An interview with CNET this morning includes an explicit reference to a “Gen 6 watch” when leaders from Fossil revealed that they would start with a flagship this fall that has a “great brand design” as well as a “premium price”. Fitbit also used the word “premium” last month to describe its upcoming smartwatches based on Wear OS.
Other brands from Fossil Group will follow variations, but Fossil says curiously that existing watches will be discounted to serve as the affordable alternative instead of cheaper Gen 6 units right outside the gate.
“Some pretty big hardware upgrades”
“We believe the integration of Fitbit into our product will be a huge improvement and something our customers will love.”
Fossil Commercial Manager Greg McKelvey
Another big tent pole that is mentioned is how Fossil plans to collaborate with carriers globally to offer LTE mobile connectivity and as a means of getting portable devices in front of more people. The only other hardware detail was when CNET asked about button configurations. For Fossil, side buttons and spinning crowns seem to remain, while touch remains the most important method of interaction.
When it comes to software, Fossil said, “All the software benefits that Google is talking about and launching with the unified platform are something we also want to build on.” Google reiterated at I / O that there is no change in the possibility for OEMs to build with Wear OS.
Finally, CNET writes that “Existing fossil Google Wear watches cannot be upgraded to the new Wear OS software platform.” There are no other details, and it is unclear whether this is a technical limitation of old chipsets, or whether Fossil will not use technical resources on existing units.
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