Google preps secret smartwatch – we examine what that could mean

Could this be the first work on a new Fitbit smartwatch
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Speculation about a Google Pixel watch has been on-going for longer than we can remember, and the old rumor mill is cranking up again that Google could be about to build its own smartwatch.

A report in ETNews and deciphered by 9to5Google has spotted a large order of processors ordered from Samsung, which have the capacity to use and capture body movement via sensors.

The deal would see Samsung design and create the semiconductors. According to the report, Google has designed its own Pixel chips in the past, so this is clearly new ground for the company.

Of course this could be for Pixel phones, but the report has tongues wagging that it could be about to re-ignite its own smartwatch project.

The first thing to note is that any silicon being designed now will not be on our wrists for a long time.

And with the current state of play in the Fitbit and Google deal, that could mean a lot of things.

With Google’s Wear OS still lacking a big leader in the wellness space, it could easily be Google preparing its first smartwatch hardware – aka a "Pixel watch."

One theory is this could act as a reference design, perhaps for a revamped Wear OS in 2021. That would be nice, but we've given up hope. Surely it would have happened by now.

But with Google planning to absorb Fitbit into its midst, which has been widely been publicized to be about “devices, not data,” Google could be prepping next generation Fitbit smartwatches.

We’d be surprised if Google’s strategy for Fitbit wasn’t already planned out for the next few years, and that work was already being done regardless of the EU probe.

Wasting a year would seriously undermine the strategy of buying Fitbit anyway, given the $2.1bn deal is all about playing catch up.

But it appears Google is set to make a wearables move – and about time too.

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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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