A trusted source believes Samsung could be on to something nobody would have expected. Evan Blass reported on Twitter that some Samsung employees were caught wearing Wear OS powered Gear smartwatches. This is the first time we’ve heard of the possibility of a Samsung Gear smartwatch with Google’s Wear OS platform, though we’re not convinced just yet that it’ll happen.
Wear OS is Google’s platform for smartwatches, which just recently transitioned names from Android Wear and received a beta update. Google is not willing to let the platform die despite all the struggles, fragmentation and lack of support by big Android OEMs. With a name change, help from Qualcomm, and an upcoming Android P platform update, there is some hope for a better 2018. And to help, Google seems to have partnered with LG once again in addition to others who may launch the first Wear OS smartwatches with the new update, and first offerings powered by the OS to come out in a while. Google might also be working on a smartwatch of its own known as Pixel Watch, and Samsung could see a return to the market to help units come off shelves and showcase new features of the OS to the public.
Samsung came out with one Google powered smartwatch when the platform first launched five years ago. The timepiece was known as Gear Live, and was showcased along devices like the OG Moto 360 and LG G Watch. Since then, Samsung ended support for the watch and moved away from Google’s OS entirely, in favor of an in-house OS known as Tizen. This was Samsung being Samsung, which did not surprise many. But what has surprised many is the fact that Gear smartwatches powered by Tizen have consistently outsold Wear OS devices.
Samsung might be planning a comeback to Wear OS, a secret the company might have been trying to keep. A move like such would be surprising considering Samsung has been successful on its own with Gear devices. Making a Wear OS device could even cannibalize Gear sales. Samsung has a strong market presence in both smartphones and wearables, and Google might have done some convincing to get Samsung to help them out in a tough situation. Keep in mind that the relationship between Google and Samsung has not been all that strong with Samsung not agreeing to the Android P beta program among other Google open source projects like the Google Lens camera.
Things only get more confusing with Samsung having been reported to be producing a Gear S3 successor in that of a Gear S4 with LTE. This could happen as early as the second half of 2018. We don’t yet know if Samsung plans to continue offering Tizen-powered Gear branded watches while launching a new line of Wear OS ‘Galaxy’ branded wearables, or, keep the Gear name and replace Tizen with Wear OS moving forward. Branding decisions will be interesting and only time will tell what Samsung does.
In your opinion, is a Wear OS smartwatch made by popular OEM Samsung what Google needs for help in 2018? Let us know in the comments and if you’d be interested in buying such a smartwatch.
SOURCE [Evan Blass on Twitter]