Another footwear and clothing giant steps further into the breach.
This time it is Puma tying up with Fossil Group in a move that is similar to adidas+Ionic and Nike+Apple. Devices will be Puma branded.
Fossil have generally steered away from sporty devices so far so a tie up with Puma is a sensible move. It’s a sensible partnership for Puma too as Fossil are well-established, are selling well and have generally good global distribution.
Puma have signed a deal that last up to 2028 and which should see the first device hit the streets in 2019. That’s a great sign of committment and also a 2019 release would be able to build on some of the improvements to WearOS that are planned this year and ALSO, I hope, from a much-needed chip from Qualcomm (maybe Huawei can step up instead?).
It could be a masterstroke.
My opinion: PUMA have found the best available partner at the best time. Only Nike has done better with its tie up with Apple. Whether or not Fossil can make a sports-grade wearable work on WearOS as well as Polar is another matter entirely.