Given how it has seemingly stagnated over the years, it is understandable that there was a great deal of excitement over the new version of Wear OS coming later this year. That said, the announcement still left a lot of questions open, particularly about which smartwatches will get the update. Laying those questions to rest, Fossil gives its own answer but it isn’t one that its customers might want to hear.
There is definitely a lot to look forward to with the next upgrade to Wear OS. Developed in collaboration with Samsung and Fitbit, Wear OS is promised to get fresh new UI and a renewed focus on health and fitness, among other things. And as with some newer and more sophisticated software, it might also require newer and better hardware.
Wear OS smartwatches, unfortunately, don’t exactly fit that description and Fossil was only too happy to share with CNET that it is working on a premiums smartwatch that will. That most likely means Qualcomm’s most recent Snapdragon Wear platform, larger batteries, and more biometric sensors. Unfortunately, that also suggests a higher price tag, which the “premium” description implies anyway.
Sadly, the company’s execs also confirmed that existing Fossil Wear OS smartwatches won’t get the new Wear OS upgrade. That may be because their hardware is too old or because Fossil just doesn’t want to incur the maintenance costs of upgrading all those older hardware to new software and the bugs that it might incur. Either way, it’s not going to happen.
This does suggest that it would be the same story for all existing Wear OS smartwatches in the market, many of which are running on older hardware components. Most of those are also manufactured by companies that are not that well-versed in maintaining smart devices and may not have the resources to push out what may be a breaking update to their wearables.