Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Major brand discontinues Google gadget after nine years and goes back to basics

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A TOP brand has dealt a major blow to Google fans after announcing it is giving up on smartwatches.

And the company behind them has issued an important update to existing users about the future of their devices.

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Fossil’s last smartwatch release was way back in 2021Credit: Fossil

Google’s Wear OS is the main rival to the global leader, Apple Watch.

Fossil has been making smartwatches with Google’s software since 2015 and is one of the biggest names to it.

But the American fashion designer has revealed it’s giving up on techy gadgets and going back to basics, focusing on traditional watches instead.

There has been rumours about Fossil’s future in the smartwatch business since its last product release was all the way back in 2021 with the Gen 6.

Speculation grew further when the company was noticeably missing from the world’s biggest tech show this year where it usually shows off its latest smartwatch devices.

A Fossil boss said the firm is quitting because “the smartwatch landscape has evolved significantly over the past few years”.

Users are not hugely surprised by the news but said it’s the “end of an era”.

“Wear OS might not still be around today if not for Fossil,” one person wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“They adamantly supported the platform, even when Google wasn’t sure what to do with it. The end of an era for sure.”

Another commented: “What a letdown.”

A third wrote: “As someone who used to own 2 Fossil smartwatches, they will be missed.”

Is Google losing the battle against Apple Watch?

Analysis by Jamie Harris, Senior Technology and Science Reporter at The Sun

The writing was on the wall for Fossil’s smartwatch future since it hasn’t released any new smartwatches since 2021. However, the move is a blow for Google’s Wear OS in face of the ever-popular Apple Watch which holds the largest slice of the pie globally.

As a fashion brand first and foremost, Fossil came up with designs that attracted those who wanted techy features in a traditional looking watch.

Google might not be too upset, as it’s increasingly focused on releasing its own smartwatches since taking over Fitbit, with Pixel watches as well.

And Google still has the might of Samsung making Wear OS smartwatches.

Jeff Boyer, Fossil executive vice President and chief operating officer, told The Verge: “As the smartwatch landscape has evolved significantly over the past few years, we have made the strategic decision to exit the smartwatch business.

“Fossil Group is redirecting resources to support our core strength and the core segments of our business that continue to provide strong growth opportunities for us: designing and distributing exciting traditional watches, jewelry, and leather goods under our own as well as licensed brand names.”

What does it mean for my Fossil smartwatch?

Anyone who currently owns a Fossil smartwatch might be concerned whether they’ll still receive software updates after news of the company’s product changes.

Fortunately, it looks like you won’t be left in the dark.

According to The Verge, Boyer said Fossil will carry on providing existing Wear OS devices with updates “for the next few years”.

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