Samsung was one of only two companies that launched Android Wear smartwatches back when Google’s original software platform made its debut in the summer of 2014, while Motorola joined the chaebol and domestic arch-rival LG just a few months later.
But the Gear Live was hardly well-received, and the world’s largest smartphone vendor chose to move forward with its in-house Tizen OS. Several Gear generations followed, with last year’s Gear Sport abandoning the traditional naming convention, and a Galaxy Watch now rumored to return to the Gear Live’s roots.
That may have felt like a wild rumor a measly couple of days ago, but Evan Blass is today lending a great deal of weight to the Wear OS adoption theory. A single @evleaks tweet is often enough to confirm an unreleased product, and although Blass doesn’t care to venture any branding guesses, he says “Gear watches running not Tizen, but Wear OS” have been “seen on the wrists of Samsung employees.”
That’s pretty damning evidence, even though we’d obviously love to be able to check out actual snapshots of these new “Gear watches” in action. If real, the Samsung Galaxy Watch is unlikely to be ready for primetime earlier than August (or perhaps July), when it might be “unpacked” alongside the Galaxy Note 9.
Meanwhile, with Samsung and LG’s help, not to mention big Qualcomm upgrades in the pipeline, and a growing number of fashion brands in its corner, Google may well have a shot at smartwatch platform relevance. Finally!