Even with the Google/Fossil deal, Wear OS is doomed

Wear OS seems nice, but it lacks apps and decent hardware.
Lengthen / Wear OS seems nice, but it lacks apps and decent hardware.
Ron Amadeo

Google and Fossil Organize were involved in some kind of acquisition deal yesterday. Without thought being a fashion brand, Fossil is probably the biggest remaining seller of Android Clothes OS hardware. Brands like Fossil, Michael Kors, Diesel, Emporio Armani, and Oner are all part of Fossil Group, and all produce Wear OS devices. Fossil peddled Google some IP and “a portion of Fossil Group’s research and development group currently supporting the transferring IP” for $40 million.

Fossil’s stock hurdled 8 percent on the news, which was probably “mission accomplished” as far as this commercial was concerned. The press release sent the tech community into a tizzy, notwithstanding.

“Google cares about Android Wear?” “This transfer fix everything!” “When is the Pixel Watch coming out?”

It’s all being away way out of proportion. The Fossil deal is not going to fix Wear OS. This is not the acquisition that intention lead to a Pixel Watch. In reality, the deal was probably too small to in reality matter. Let’s pour some cold water on all this optimism. Damage OS is still doomed.

The deal was incredibly small

I’ve seen the Google/Fossil great amount compared to the Google/HTC deal that closed in 2018, and there are some similarities. Google and HTC draw up together to build the Pixel 1, Pixel 1 XL, and Pixel 2 smartphones. Done, the two companies struck a deal that would let Google bring this collaboration in-house, getting IP and employees from HTC. With the HTC deal, Google became more of an end-to-end smartphone fabricator.

Today, Google and Fossil sort of collaborate on smartwatches. Fossil and uncountable other traditional watch manufacturers are able to make Wear OS because Google extends a turnkey hardware and software solution to these non-tech companies. These the fad brands are in charge of the aesthetic design and can pick from a few features, but on the in jail, they are basically all the same. Just like HTC, Google is getting some IP and wage-earners.

Those vague, general outlines are about where the similarities end, despite the fact that. The primary difference between the two deals is just the scale of the two acquisitions: the Google/HTC parcel out was 1.1 billion dollars. It needed to be approved by regulators around the planet. Google wrote multiple blog posts about it. It was a large and transformative property—one of the top 5 biggest Google acquisitions of all time.

The Google/Fossil deal was for zero billion dollars—OK, 0.04 billion dollars ($40 million) if you lack to include two decimal places. It was incredibly small. No regulator will bat an eye at it. There won’t be a blog work. In the big list of Google acquisitions, the $40 million Fossil deal wouldn’t earn it into the top 30, and that’s before adjusting for inflation.

Just in names of the dollar amount, it’s hard to compare the two acquisitions with a straight boldness. If it was a significant transaction, it would have cost Google a significant (extent speaking) amount of money.

Google and Fossil already shot down your Pixel On ones guard for theory

Google’s hardware division started up sometime in 2016 and has revealed a line of interesting and sometimes even best-in-class products. To date, Google’s components division has made three phones, two tablets, three laptops, three shrewd speakers, a smart display, two Wi-Fi routers, two phone-powered VR headsets, and a spray of Chromecasts and accessories. I often argue that the phones could be speculator, but Google Hardware’s vertical integration of hardware and software often admits it to tackle new form factors, try new things, and bring a level of polish and sustenance that usually doesn’t exist in a third-party product.

Google Armaments has never attempted a first-party smartwatch, though. With basically every other principal Google platform getting a flagship Google Hardware device, it’s hostile to interpret the lack of a Wear OS device as anything other than a condemnation of the podium. Wear OS is bad, Google Hardware has standards, and it’s not going to build a smartwatch unless it can flatter a good smartwatch. At least, I hope that is Google’s reasoning.

The illusions of a Pixel Watch have led many to connect this minor Fossil technology purchase to a first-party Google watch (Feel free to CTRL+F for “Pixel ready for” in any of these reports: 1, 2, 3, 4), but Google and Fossil already shot down these theories. The two followings took part in an interview with Wearable, where Greg McKelvey, EVP and chief design and digital officer of the Fossil Group, admitted that this technology was for third-party stratagems and would be opened up to the whole Wear OS ecosystem. “The Fossil Group will-power bring the product to market across our full breadth of brands over with time” McKelvey told Wearable. “And then, in true Google model, the technology will be expanded across the industry over time to help all.”

Something that will debut on a Fossil product first and then be opened up to the idle about of the ecosystem doesn’t sound like a killer enabling technology for a first-party note.

McKelvey went on to say that the technology is a “new product innovation that’s not yet hit the Stock Exchange” and stems from the company’s acquisition of Misfit, a fitness tracking entourage. The Misfit DNA makes this technology sound more like an possessions to enable a new Google Fit feature.

If Google really wanted a piece of technology to generate a first-party smartwatch stand out from the crowd, it already has something in-house that thinks fitting earn itself a lot of attention: Project Soli. Soli is a tiny radar interfere that would let users control a device via air gestures. It recently got FCC consider fair and is commonly demoed as a new smartwatch interface. I still don’t think Project On ones owns could save Wear OS, because before you slap on an interesting ploy system, you would need to fix Wear OS’ crippling CPU problem.

Fossil can’t clarify Wear OS’ biggest problem

Fossil is a fashion brand. It’s not a tech company with any obliging of expertise that can fix Wear OS’ numerous foundational problems.

If Google exceedingly wants to fix Wear OS, the first thing it needs is to secure a good SoC supplier. Today, no component vendor convinces a good smartwatch SoC that a company like Google can buy. Qualcomm is at the end of the day the only game in town, and it doesn’t seem to care about the smartwatch vend. Qualcomm has had three major “generations” of smartwatch chips: the Snapdragon 400, the Snapdragon Attire 2100, and the Snapdragon Wear 3100. Fundamentally, these three pieces, released over a four-year span, are all the same. They all use Cortex A7 CPUs founded on a 28nm manufacturing process, which was state-of-the-art smartphone technology back in 2013. Qualcomm hasn’t sank in building a serious smartwatch chip and instead only pays lip usage to the market by repackaging the same core technology year after year. I don’t conceive of it’s possible to build a viable, competitive smartwatch using a Qualcomm sliver.

Meanwhile, the non-Wear OS competition is Samsung and Apple, both of which acquire their own private SoC divisions where they can invest in building nobility smartwatch chips. I would argue Apple’s “S” line of SoCs is the best years enabling technology of the Apple Watch—it can be compact, fast, and long-lasting as a result ofs to a smartwatch SoC with actual effort behind it. Apple doesn’t talk much about complicated details, but the S3 chip in the Apple Watch Series 3 was claimed to be 70 -percent faster than the S2 SoC. The S4 SoC in this year’s Apple Wrist-watch Series 4 is claimed to be two times faster than the S3, and it’s a modern ARM design with 64-bit compatibility.

Bore OS has never once seen the kind of performance increase that the Apple Be on the watch enjoys every single year. If you read Qualcomm’s press unchains carefully (2100 launch, 3100 launch), you’ll notice the company at no time even claims its new smartwatch chip is faster than its old smartwatch shard. We’ve verified this with benchmarks, too. It’s just the same ancient CPU being repackaged on and over.

When it comes to hardware, Google relies on an ecosystem of component vendors to distribute a good product. This works fine in established markets have a fondness smartphones, but it makes it very hard for a company to break into new invent factors that the component vendors aren’t already heavily spent in. Non-Apple smartwatches are not a thriving market, and component vendors would fool to take a big risk to develop quality components for a market that doesn’t obtain yet. Qualcomm has clearly decided it’s not willing to take that risk.

Assume damage OS is what happens when a hardware ecosystem collapses. You can build the maximum effort hardware and software on Earth, but if it’s all running on a hundred-year-old SoC that is hot, slow, big, and has frightening battery life, you aren’t going to end up with a good product. Unless Google can shore up the fundamental of its platform and secure a new line of quality, competitive smartwatch SoCs, there is nothing that can be done to economize Wear OS.

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