Wearables Week in Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

Apple Watch 6?

It looks  likely that Apple will be launch the Watch Series 6 in early April. Multiple sources are saying that the event will be the week of September 7. This is pretty much the standard time for Apple’s annual Watch unveil, but it wasn’t clear if Covid was going to have an impact on the timing. Covid will, of course, have an impact on how the event takes place and it’s still not clear if this will simply be a press release rather than a virtual event.

The NPD Take:

  • There are no credible rumors on what the new Watch version will have, but we have expectations. Firstly, since sleep tracking is coming, there has to be a better battery life. Additionally, we would expect more health tracking features such as blood oxygen. Health features are the new race in wearables, especially in light of the pandemic.

Fossil’s big update

Fossil has taken matters into its own hands, launching a slew of new health related features that run on top of Wear OS. The new features include fitness tracking, heart rate VO2 Max and battery modes, which allow you to reduce battery impact by shutting off features you do not need. Indeed, several of the features are aimed at stretching the battery life: the new fitness tracking app is expected to be twice as efficient as previous versions.

The NPD Take:

  • The move helps differentiate Fossil from the other Wear OS smartwatch vendors who remain reliant on Google’s lackluster approach to Wear OS. Google has just updated Wear OS, but primarily to improve its chipset compatibility. But Google’s approach is not necessarily a bad one: build the base platform and let individual vendors build their own differentiated solution on top of it… which is exactly what Fossil is doing.
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