Is Google set to take on Apple and Samsung in the smart wearable market? after the big search Company cut a deal to buy the IP behind Fossil smartwatches.
Overnight Google confirmed that they paid $55M for the intellectual property behind smartwatches made by the Fossil Group and that Fossil’s research and development team are moving to Google.
18 months ago, the Company acquired HTC, which saw the smartphone company’s hardware team shift to Google work on Pixel devices.
Stacy Burr, VP of product management for Wear OS said: “Wearables, built for wellness, simplicity, personalization and helpfulness, have the opportunity to improve lives by bringing users the information and insights they need quickly, at a glance.
“The addition of Fossil Group’s technology and team to Google demonstrates our commitment to the wearables industry by enabling a diverse portfolio of smartwatches and supporting the ever-evolving needs of the vitality-seeking, on-the-go consumer,” said Stacey Burr, Vice President of Product Management, Wear OS by Google.”
“Fossil Group has experienced significant success in its wearables business by focusing on product design and development informed by our strong understanding of consumers’ needs and style preferences,” said Greg McKelvey, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy and Digital Officer, Fossil Group.
Fossil shares jumped as much as 11 percent to US$19.32 on Thursday. Alphabet stock was little changed at US$1,089.58.
For several years, Google has provided free software, called Wear OS, that other companies can use to make their own internet-connected watches. But sales of those devices have lagged well behind the Apple Inc.’s Watch. Google does not sell its own smartwatch, but it has a growing hardware division making Pixel smartphones and other devices.
A Fossil spokeswoman said the intellectual property is related to technology that isn’t currently in the market. A Google spokeswoman declined to provide further information.
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