Thursday , October 6 2022

Even with the Google / Fossil agreement, Wear US is doomed


Wear OS looks nice, but lacks decent hardware and applications.
Wide / Wear OS looks nice, but lacks decent hardware and applications.

Ron Amadeo

Google and the Fossil Group got involved yesterday on some type of acquisition agreement. Despite being a fashion brand, Fossil is probably the most important seller of Android It uses the SO hardware. Brands like Fossil, Michael Kors, Diesel, Emporio Armani and Misfit are part of the Fossil group, and all produce devices from Wear OS. Fossils sold to Google some IPs and "a portion of the Fossil Group's research and development team that currently supports IP transfer" for $ 40 million.

Fossil stocks rose 8 percent to the news, probably "made" with respect to this announcement. However, the press release sent the technological community a problem.

"Google is concerned about Android Wear?" "This will solve everything!" "When does the Pixel clock come out?"

All this is out of proportion. The fossil agreement will not solve Wear OS. This is not the acquisition that will result in a Pixel clock. Actually, the agreement was probably too small to really import. We cold water with all this optimism. Wear OS is still doomed.

The deal was incredibly small

I have seen the Google / Fossil deal in comparison to the Google / HTC deal that closed in 2018 and there are some similarities. Google and HTC worked together to create the smartphones Pixel 1, Pixel 1 XL and Pixel 2. Finally, the two companies reached an agreement that allowed Google to carry out this collaboration internally, acquiring IP and employees of # 39 ; HTC. With HTC's agreement, Google became a smart-to-end smartphone maker.

Today, Google and Fossil kind of Collaborate on smartwatches. Fossils and many other traditional watch manufacturers can make Wear OS so that Google offers a turnkey hardware and software solution for these companies without technology. These fashion brands are in charge of aesthetic design and they can choose between a few features, but in the interior, basically, they are all the same. Like HTC, Google is receiving some IP and employees.

These vague and general contours relate to where the similarity ends. The main difference between the two offers is only the scale of the two acquisitions: the Google / HTC agreement was $ 1,100 million. He needed to be approved by regulators around the world. Google has written several publications on this topic. It was a great and transformative acquisition, one of the five best Google acquisitions of all time.

The Google / Fossil agreement was zero billion dollars-OK, 0.04 billion dollars (40 million dollars) if you want to include two decimals. It was incredibly small. No regulator will give you an eye. There will be no blog post. On the big list of Google acquisitions, the $ 40 million Fossil Fuel Agreement would not become the top 30, and this is before adjusting for inflation.

Only with respect to the dollar amount, it is difficult to compare the two acquisitions with a straight face. If it were a significant transaction, it would have cost Google a significant amount (relatively speaking) of money.

Google and Fossil have already shot your Pixel Watch theory

The hardware division of Google started to work sometime in 2016 and produced a line of interesting and sometimes even better products. Until now, the hardware division of Google has made three phones, two tablets, three laptops, three smart speakers, a smart screen, two Wi-Fi routers, two VR headphones with a phone and lots of Chromecasts and accessories Often I argue that the phones may be better, but the vertical integration of hardware and software from Google Hardware often allows to address new form factors, try new things and obtain a level of polishing and support that generally does not exist in a third part, product of the party.

Google Hardware has never tried a smart first-level review, though. With basically all of the other major Google platforms having a Google hardware device, it's difficult to interpret the lack of a Wear OS device as a platform condemnation. Wear OS is bad, Google Hardware has it rules, and a smart monitor will not be built unless you can make a good smart monitor. At least, I hope this is Google's reasoning.

Dreams of a Pixel clock have led many to connect this lesser acquisition of fossil technology to a top-level Google clock (Do not hesitate to do so in CTRL + F for "Pixel Monitoring" in some d & These reports: 1, 2, 3, 4), but Google and Fossil already overthrow these theories. The two companies participated in an interview with Wearable, where Greg McKelvey, EVP and head of strategy and digital officer of the Fossil group, admitted that this technology was for third-party devices and it was open to everything The Wear OS ecosystem. "The Fossil Group will bring the product to the market to our wide range of brands over time," McKelvey told Wearable. "And, in the true fashion of Google, technology will expand to the whole industry over time to benefit all of them."

Something that will first debut on a fossil product and then open it to the rest of the ecosystem does not sound like a killer activation technology for a first level watch.

McKelvey said that technology is a "new product innovation that has not yet reached the market" and derives from the acquisition of Misfit by the company, a fitness tracking company. The Misfit DNA makes this technology sound more like an acquisition to enable a new feature of Google Fit.

If Google really wanted a technology to make the smart audience of the first game stand out from the crowd, it already has something in the interior that would pay a lot of attention: Soli Project. Soli is a small radar chip that would allow users to control a device through aerial gestures. He recently obtained the approval of the FCC and is commonly shown as a new interface for intelligent control. Me yet I do not think that the Soli Project could save Wear OS, because before catching an interesting gesture system, it would be necessary to repair the problem of the CPU paralyzing Wear OS.

The fossil can not solve the biggest problem of Wear OS

Fossil is a fashion brand. It is not a technology company with any type of experience that can repair the numerous problems of foundation of the OS.

If Google really wants to repair Wear OS, the first thing you need is to get a good SoC provider. Today, no component provider sells a good SoC smart control that a company like Google can buy. Qualcomm is really the only game in the city, and does not seem to worry about the smartwatch market. Qualcomm has had three great "generations" of smartwatch chips: Snapdragon 400, Snapdragon Wear 2100 and Snapdragon Wear 3100. Essentially, these three chips, published over a period of four years, are the same. All use the Cortex A7 CPUs built in a manufacturing process of 28nm, which was the latest technology in smart technology in 2013. Qualcomm has not invested in the construction of a smart SmartWatch chip and , on the other hand, it only pays the lips service to the market by repackaging the same basic technology year after year. I do not think it is possible to build a viable and competitive smartwatch through a Qualcomm chip.

Meanwhile, the non-Wear OS competition is Samsung and Apple, both of which have their own private SoC divisions where they can invest in the creation of quality smartwatch chips. I would say that the Apple "Apple" line is Apple Store's main enabling technology: it can be compact, fast and durable thanks to a smart control SoC, with a real effort behind him. Apple does not talk much about technical details, but the S3 chip on the Apple Watch Series 3 was considered to be 70% faster than the S2 SoC. The So4 S4 of the Apple Watch Series 4 this year is said to be twice as fast as the S3 and that it is a modern ARM design with 64-bit compatibility.

Use the operating system never once Given the type of performance increase that Apple Watch enjoys every year. If you read Qualcomm's press releases carefully (2100 releases, 3100 releases), you will notice that the company does not even claim that its new smart chip is faster than the old smartwatch chip. We have verified this with reference points. It is the same old CPU that is repackaged over and over again.

With regard to hardware, Google is based on a component supplier ecosystem to produce a good product. This works well in established markets, such as smartphones, but makes it difficult for a company to enter into new factors so that the component suppliers are no longer invested. Apple's non-Apple smart networks are not a prosperous market, and component vendors have a great risk of developing quality components for a market that does not yet exist. Qualcomm has clearly decided that it is unwilling to take this risk.

Wear OS is what happens when a hardware ecosystem will collapse. You can create the best hardware and software on Earth, but if everything is working with a 100-year-old SoC that is hot, slow, great and has a terrible battery life, you will not end up with a good product. . Unless Google can maintain the foundation of its platform and ensure a new quality line, the SoCs of competitive intelligent control, there is nothing that can be done to save Wear OS.

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