Fossil has decided to step back from the smartwatch space. As a result, the Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches will be the last that the company will make. This decision, as revealed by Fossil spokesperson Amanda Castelli, pivots the company’s focus towards their traditional product lines, including classic watches, jewelry, and leather goods.
It has to be noted that Fossil was one of the earlier proponents of the Android WearOS smartwatch and was regarded as one of the better players in the space. Its smartwatches right up until the Gen 6, stood out for eschewing the dull and drab design of watches from other manufacturers. To add to that, they stood out for uncomplicated smartwatch UI.
That was until Samsung and Google decided to partner on the Wear OS 3, leaving Fossil out in the cold altogether. Fossil was apparently working on the Gen 6 range of smartwatches and the Wear OS 3 announcement caught it by surprise. And add to that, Qualcomm would soon announce a new chip for smartwatches. The effect of all of these put together, was that the Gen 6 was dead on arrival. And Fossil could never recover.
This was years after Google bought smartwatch tech from Fossil in a deal valued at $40 million in 2019. Fossil’s fusion of analog and digital in their smartwatches was considered to be a viable approach for future smartwatches. Google would continue to work on Wear OS but its first smartwatch would still only debut years later.
The company assures continued support for existing Wear OS watch owners in the coming years. The news of the company’s exit from the smartwatch business follows Fossil’s absence from CES this year and a dearth of updates on any new products for the whole of 2023. Fossil was expected to announce a new Gen 7 featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 Plus platform in 2023, but that never materialized. And now we know why.