What you need to know
- Fossil Group announced today that it would no longer be making smartwatches.
- Aside from the main Fossil brand, the group also resealed smartwatches under its sub-brands as well, which include Citizen, Skagen, Diesel, Michael Kors, and Kate Spade.
- Fossil said that it would continue to support its existing smartwatches “for the next few years.”
Fossil Group, the company that desperately tried to make stylish smartwatches that represented their traditional counterparts, is now giving up on the business altogether. Fossil’s Gen 6 will be its last generation of Wear OS watches, the company said in a statement Friday to The Verge.
“As the smartwatch landscape has evolved significantly over the past few years, we have made the strategic decision to exit the smartwatch business,” said a Fossil spokesperson. “Fossil Group is redirecting resources to support our core strength and the core segments of our business that continue to provide strong growth opportunities for us: designing and distributing exciting traditional watches, jewelry, and leather goods under our own as well as licensed brand names.”
Fossil made smartwatches through the worst periods of Wear OS. At times when major OEMs and even Google seemed to forget about Wear OS, Fossil was there. That remained true until 2021 when Google and Samsung teamed up to create Wear OS 3 based on Android 11.
The two companies appear to have finally made Wear OS a thriving and stable operating system. For the first time in years, Wear OS seems destined for a yearly release schedule.
The success of Wear OS has been closely related to Google and Samsung’s own hardware initiatives. Google bought Fitbit and has now released two generations of Pixel Watch. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch lineup has also found some favor with users, culminating in the Galaxy Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic last year.
These are likely the parts of the smartwatch market that have “evolved significantly over the past few years,” as Fossil described it.
The writing was on the wall for quite a while. Fossil didn’t release a new smartwatch last year, even as Qualcomm’s W5+ mobile platforms supercharged Wear OS devices. That’s without even mentioning the Fossil retail employees who told customers not to expect another smartwatch, as a Reddit user documented.
Fossil says that it will keep updating its existing smartwatches “for the next few years.”
Fossil’s exit from the smartwatch market will leave a hole in the industry. Its minimalist and fashion-first approach to smartwatch design is unlike anything that exists today. The closest thing to Fossil smartwatches on the market now is probably the Withings ScanWatch line, but those are more health-oriented than fashion-centric.
Android Central has reached out to Fossil Group about its decision, and they did not get back to us in time for publication. We will update the article once we have more information.