Expect to see next-generation Wear OS devices later this year.
There will be several new smartwatches announced after Qualcomm’s September 10 event. In an invite sent out to media outlets, the chipmaker confirmed it’ll be making a wearables-related announcement soon. Aside from saying “It’s Time,” the invite shows a generic smartwatch.
Qualcomm even asks that you set your watch in preparation for this unveiling. The invite doesn’t include any partners, but it’s safe to believe third-party devices will go official.
Here’s the invite, which locks in San Francisco as the location:
Hmmm. Just got a save-the-date from Qualcomm. Wonder what's happening September 10? pic.twitter.com/HVeJrVSo2k
— Michael Fisher (@theMrMobile) August 7, 2018
The announcement should involve a new chip built specifically for smartwatches. Earlier this year, Qualcomm told Warable that it’ll introduce a made-for-Wear OS processor in the fall. Qualcomm didn’t say which brands would rally around the chip, but we know the likely names that would jump at the opportunity.
As of late, we’ve heard about LG and its plan to release two smartwatches. The South Korean company led the charge for Android Wear 2.0, and Google might prefer sticking with a trusted partner for the Wear OS reboot. LG has plenty of experience in the wearables space, too.
More support for Qualcomm’s new chip will probably come from Fossil Group. The watchmaker holds licenses from an endless list of brands, and it hasn’t wavered in backing Wear OS despite the lack of new features rolling out.
Google, though, could turn out to be the biggest partner. When the Pixel 3 makes its debut in early October, a Pixel-branded smartwatch will reportedly be present as well. The Mountain View-based company wants to have an in-house own smartwatch to bolster its hardware efforts.
Invites for Google’s hardware-focused event haven’t been sent out, but we suspect they’re coming very soon.
The final months of 2018 are shaping up to be huge for this industry. Qualcomm and Google will inject life into Wear OS, and the Apple Watch is also due for an upgrade. Samsung, too, will roll-out the Galaxy Watch at some point.
Let’s just hope Wear OS can compete against watchOS and Tizen. Google and its partners have stumbled with wearables, and another viable platform would certainly be welcomed by consumers.