Qualcomm – new chips to come
In a press release today, Qualcomm confirm that they are doubling down on their investment in providing chips for Wear OS and that they “plan to roll out new Snapdragon Wear platforms across segments over the next year“. So this could mean a successor to the 4100/4100+ platform or it could be related processors away from the traditional tech of health and fitness.
The rambling press statement reads more like the summary of a market research report and outlines the growth in the Wearables space yet omitting the fact that Qualcomm is effectively little more than a glorified bit player at present.
Specifically, Qualcomm says they have reached “40+ Million Snapdragon Wear shipments” and my reading is that means 40m EVER…cumulatively, over about 5 years. You can assume that this represents the entire sales of Wear OS watches give or take a bit.
Contrast that to Q1.2020 sales of the Apple Watch which IDC claims to be 21 million…that’s for one single quarter. Ouch.
Being more positive we could assume that sales of Wear OS devices will likely swell very significantly in a few months if Fitbit-branded watches switch to Wear OS…as I would expect. Similarly, Samsung is definitely entering the Wear OS fray but, sadly for Qualcomm, Samsung will also be a direct competitor and Wear OS chip producer.
The same press release also includes a supportive quote from Fossil which is a large maker of Wear OS watches
“At Fossil Group, we are always striving for new innovation and increased performance in our products. Thanks to our continued partnership with Qualcomm and the launch of our upcoming smartwatches later this year, Fossil believes it’s bringing the best possible Wear OS smartwatch to the market this year,” Chris Hartley, Director of Category Strategy – Wearables, Fossil Group, Inc.
So it looks like Fossil are definitely bringing out Gen 6 watches, probably in September/October, and they are their ‘best ever’…I guess most new products claim to be the best ever tho.
I’m still upbeat about the future of Wear OS. Either way, this time next year we should have a pretty good idea of where its new direction will lead.
On a related note, I’m expecting September 2021 to be a massive month for sports tech. What with Covid delays, a quiet year so far, a new Apple Watch, obviously new Wear OS watches, other Christmas-related watches and not too much from Garmin so far…Wow. Busy-Busy.