Image source: Fossil

Fossil smartwatch era ends: Inventory sold out, future support uncertain

Fossil Group, once a titan in the Wear OS smartwatch landscape, has bid farewell to the market. The company’s decision to discontinue production and the subsequent disappearance of smartwatches from their website marks the end of an era.

Fossil’s rise in the smartwatch market

Fossil’s foray into smartwatches wasn’t about bleeding-edge technology but about marrying fashion with functionality. Their Wear OS devices, sold under various brands. This includes Diesel, Michael Kors, Armani Exchange, and Skagen.

These timepieces offered a stylish alternative to the tech-focused smartwatches that dominated the early market. Fossil’s approach appealed to a broad audience seeking a wearable device that was as much a fashion accessory as it was a technological tool.

The winds of change

The smartwatch landscape evolved and, around the time of Wear OS 3’s release, Fossil’s position began to falter. The decision to halt smartwatch production, came as a surprise to many. We’re not sure of the exact reasons. Having said that, it’s clear that Fossil likely found it difficult to keep pace with the rapid advancements and increased complexities within the smartwatch market.

“As the smartwatch landscape has evolved significantly over the past few years, we have made the strategic decision to exit the smartwatch business,” Fossil spokesperson Amanda Castelli explained earlier this year.

Inventory depletion and questions of support

With Fossil’s official exit, smartwatch listings on their website have been replaced (in the past few days) with messages of unavailability or the inability to locate products. Prior to that, the company ran a sale with some discounts reaching an incredible 75%. It is clear now that Fossil was aiming to clear out the remaining stock.

Some of its watches can still be found on platforms like Amazon. But those considering a purchase should be aware that the future of software updates and support from Fossil remains uncertain. Buying a discontinued smartwatch means potentially missing out on critical security fixes, feature updates, and compatibility with newer smartphone models. So if you do opt for a purchase, at leat wait until the watches are heavily discounted.

Wear OS: Losing its fashion flair

Fossil’s departure leaves a sizable hole in the Wear OS ecosystem. Their focus on style and design brought a unique appeal, catering to a segment of the market that prioritized aesthetics alongside tech functionality. Not everyone was a fan, but the company did have a following.

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With Fossil Group gone, Wear OS loses a significant player and a major source of fashion-conscious wearables. This leaves tech-heavy brands like Samsung, Google Pixel Watch, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Mobvoi to dominate the space. It remains to be seen if other fashion brands will venture into the smartwatch space in the future, or if this marks a definitive shift towards the dominance of technology companies in the Wear OS world.

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Ivan Jovin

Ivan has been a tech journalist for over 7 years now, covering all kinds of technology issues. He is the guy who gets to dive deep into the latest wearable tech news.

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