Google plans on launching up to three Pixel-branded smartwatches this fall, according to VentureBeat mobile reporter Evan Blass, who cites a “reliable source.”
Such a watch would almost certainly be powered by Google’s Wear OS (formerly Android Wear). It would likely also incorporate Qualcomm’s upcoming wearable chip, which Google helped design.
Qualcomm’s senior director of wearables Pankaj Kedia told the tech blog Wareable that the new platform will be unveiled this fall alongside “a lead smartwatch.” Keida also stated that the chips will have Bluetooth and wifi, GPS, and LTE, and improved battery life.
However, if the watch is actually good, it could be just what Wear OS needs to stay afloat.
When it comes to fitness wearables, the Apple Watch has a solid foothold on the market. A recent estimate from IDC suggests Apple shipped 8 million wearables in the fourth quarter, becoming the single biggest vendor for the first time with 21 percent market share. Meanwhile, many other consumer tech companies have long abandoned releasing new smartwatches, and Wear OS has been largely confined to luxury fashion brands in the past few months.
A good, affordable Pixel watch could help bring Google’s operating system back into the consumer fitness sphere and maybe, just maybe, challenge the dominance of the Apple Watch.