Qualcomm launches a new wearable platform and has launched an initiative to promote a new generation of wearables.
The new platform – still unnamed and with few details – is said to be used by a wider range of devices than the current Qualcomm Snapdragon range, which was mainly used on Wear OS smartwatches.
Qualcomm is looking at smartwatches for kids, wearables for seniors, pet trackers and hands-free wearables for businesses, and the next generation of smartwatches.
The platform will tie in with the Qualcomm 4100, 4100+ and 1300 used for Linux and RTOS wearable devices.
While there is no name or details, Qualcomm said it is building this processor platform “from the ground up” with a SoC for high performance and a co-processor for long-term use cases. Both are designed to be energy efficient for longer battery life.
The company also launched the Qualcomm Ecosystem Accelerator, which it will use to connect various operating systems, platforms, and hardware suppliers to bring devices to market.
And it has signed up a wide range of well-known brands as members, including Fossil, Timex, ZTE, Louis Vuitton, Oppo, and Montblanc.
But what about Qualcomm and Wear OS devices? While the company has widely spoken of 21% year-over-year growth in wearables, Wear OS devices accounted for just 3% of the smartwatch market in 2020.
With a new version about to land, we asked Pankaj Kedia, Global Business Head of Smart Wearables at Qualcomm if the company was disappointed with sales of Wear OS devices:
“Google has increased its focus by partnering with Samsung and acquiring Fitbit. These are footprints in the sand and indicate that Google is hungry, ”he said.
“They are committed, they invest. Qualcomm is Google’s top partner when it comes to Android. And I’m just saying: stay tuned for more evidence of our collaboration. ”
And it seems the collaboration isn’t too far off: we’ve seen rumors of a new Oppo Watch 2 set to run on a Qualcomm 4100. Take a look at this area.