Fossil announced plans to sell its smartwatch IP to Google for USD 40 million.
The deal is supposedly for a smartwatch technology currently under development and involves the transfer of a number of Fossil employees to Google.
“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,” Wear OS VP Stacey Burr said in a statement. “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.”
Wearables, in general, have struggled recently. This includes Google’s wearable operating system, Wear OS.
The smartwatch space continues to be dominated by Apple. Its top competitors, Fitbit and Samsung have opted to go different routes, supporting the Pebble-based Fitbit OS and Tizen, respectively. This has left Google struggling to differentiate itself and the offerings of its partners.
Fossil is quick to note that it still has a team of 200 working on research and development. They’ve also mentioned that they’re still committed to wearable tech.
“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,” Fossil EVP Greg McKelvey said in a statement. “We’ve built and advanced a technology that has the potential to improve upon our existing platform of smartwatches. Together with Google, our innovation partner, we’ll continue to unlock growth in wearables.”