Are traditional fashion designers Google’s only hope for the short to mid-term evolution and growth of the Android Wear-powered hardware ecosystem? Maybe not, but “premium”, non-tech-focused brands like Montblanc, Guess, Tag Heuer, Movado, Fossil and Armani could be the search giant’s best hope to appeal to a large crowd with so far extremely nichey smartwatches.
The US-based Fossil Group in particular might prove to be a formidable partner in an effort to challenge the dominant Apple Watch from a different angle. Following a decent first wave of intelligent Q-branded timepieces, the extensive “group” of tier 1 licenses is almost ready to unleash over 300, yes, three hundred next-gen “connected watch styles” catering to every possible budget.
We’re talking both “hybrid” and touchscreen smartwatches, to be clear, carrying popular names like Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, Diesel, Michael Kors, Skagen and Misfit in addition to Fossil.
Also, Armani Exchange and Emporio Armani, the latter of which just unveiled the exact commercial launch date of its aptly titled Connected wearable with Android Wear 2.0 onboard.
It’s September 24, though unfortunately, the recommended price remains under wraps. It has to be more than $300, judging from the original retail costs of the non-touchscreen Emporio Armani Connected, whose sequel is coming this fall to online and offline stores too.
The higher-end Emporio Armani Connected smartwatch is billed as compatible with Android and iOS phones to not seem restrictive, as well as customizable in terms of both watch faces and straps.
We also know a standard Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor purrs under the hood, with Android Wear 2.0 of course supporting advanced activity tracking, smartphone notifications and Google Assistant interaction. Last but not least, style-loving tech consumers should expect to get a “high resolution” AMOLED display. That’s… vague.