Fossil Group announced Thursday its intention to sell Google's IP smartwatch for $ 40 million. As part of the transaction, which is expected to close this month, part of the Fossil Group's research and development team that currently supports the transferred intellectual property will join Google.
The fashion-driven company, which includes brands such as Michael Kors, Kate Spade, New York and Diesel, could give a boost to Google's apparel category, at a time when Apple has virtually consolidated its lead with Apple Watch.
"The addition of Fossil Group's technology and team to Google demonstrates our commitment to the apparel industry by enabling the creation of a diverse portfolio of smart watches and meeting the needs of the apparel industry." ever-changing consumer needs in search of vitality, "Stacey Burr, vice president of product management for Wear OS, said in a statement.
Last year, Google said that Wear OS could be an important part of its future focused on AI, remodeling the wearables platform by focusing on the notifications of the future. ;Assistant. However, Google's commitment to clothing technology may have been questioned, as the tech giant has not yet offered its own Wear OS watch. As recently stated ZDNet's Ross Rubin, the limited customization options of Wear OS prevent brands from integrating the platform to their own portfolios.
Meanwhile, Apple has strengthened the features available with the Apple Watch, to lead to the ECG sensor of the Apple Watch Series 4, approved by the FDA. This should help Apple maintain its significant lead in the smartwatch market: according to ABI Research, the iPhone maker's smartwatch market share is 43.45% in 2018, well above of its closest competitors.
ABI Research predicts that smartwatches will see their shipments rise from 40 million in 2018 to more than 99 million in 2023.
Meanwhile, although part of Fossil's R & D team is turning to Google, Fossil Group retains the services of more than 200 members of the R & D team in order to focus on innovation and product development, the company said. Smart watches have become the fastest growing category of the Fossil Group, with smart watches in 14 of its brands under license or license.
"Fossil Group has had tremendous success in its portable equipment business by focusing on product design and development, informed by our deep understanding of consumer needs and styling preferences," said the Vice President. President of Fossil Group, Greg McKelvey. "We have developed and developed a technology that can enhance our existing smartwatches platform, and together with Google, our innovation partner, we will continue to unleash growth in apparel technologies." "