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Samsung developing a smartwatch with Wear OS, not Tizen

by Justin Herrick | May 21, 2018May 21, 2018 6:00 am EST

Samsung and Google could be collaborating on a new smartwatch launching this fall. The two companies are reportedly co-developing a Wear OS device with high-end specifications, according to industry insider Ice Universe.

If the information turns out to be accurate, it would be the first time Samsung released a smartwatch using Google’s platform in several years.

The Gear Live, introduced back in 2014, was paired with the LG G Watch as the devices tasked with getting Android Wear off the ground. Samsung, though, didn’t see impressive sales figures and the platform overall struggled to gain momentum.

Tizen eventually replaced Google’s software on all Samsung-made smartwatches. The company originally thought about using its own operating system on mobile devices, but then it pivoted to put Tizen mostly on wearables and other connected devices. Some of the more notable Tizen-powered devices include the Gear S3 and Gear Sport.

While the smartwatch isn’t likely the Gear S4 or Galaxy Watch that’s been surfacing in the rumor mill lately, the effort given by both companies should be serious. Ice Universe, who has a proven track record, refers to the project as a “flagship watch” arriving in the second half of 2018.

The idea of Samsung releasing a Wear OS device shouldn’t be too surprising. Qualcomm recently confirmed it’s working on a new chip for smartwatches. Along with that, the company hinted at technology brands returning to the platform.

Samsung will still release the Galaxy Watch, a re-branded Gear S4, this year. You just might see it a little later than expected. Samsung could be holding onto the Galaxy Watch until mid-September when Apple normally announces its latest smartwatch.

Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...