At Google’s I/O 2021 conference, the company announced what sounds like a complete re-launch of Wear OS, with Samsung as a major partner. The biggest remaining hardware vendor for Wear OS is fashion company Fossil Group, and in a weekend interview with CNET, the company shed a bit more light on the project.
“Premium” seems to be the name of the game for the revamped Wear OS. Fossil is currently charging $350 for the Fossil Gen 5 LTE, while an LTE-equipped Apple Watch costs closer to $500. When the new Wear OS comes out, we’ll probably see watches more in line with Apple’s pricing. CNET came away from the interview saying, “The upcoming wave of Android-compatible watches will be entirely new, with new chips focused on faster performance and better battery life.”
Many sites concluded that existing watches would not be updated from the old Wear OS to the new Wear OS. Fossil responded by sending out a statement that didn’t deny the speculation and only said that “future upgrade plans are still being developed.” Samsung has said that Tizen watches won’t be upgraded to Wear OS, but that’s a completely different operating system.