Fossil Group is doubling down on its Android Wear smartwatch investment with a range of new wearables, many of which feature full-round AMOLED displays, which offer perfectly circular touchscreen interfaces without any cutouts like those found on previous generations. Some of the new watches are on display at IFA this year, and will go on sale in time for both fall and holiday shopping season this year.
Fossil says it’s going to add to the brands under its umbrella that offer Android Wear smartwatches in 2018, too, in addition to adding new models to its existing smartwatch brand lineup. At the show, it’ll be displaying its new 2017 designs from Diesel, Emporio Armani, Fossil, Michael Kors and Misfit all offering Android Wear, and more Android Wear and hybrid smartwatches under the Armani Exchange, Chaps, DKNY, kate spade, Marc Jacobs, MICHELE, Relic, Skagen, and Tory Burch will also be made available this coming fall and holiday.
The news that it’s expanding its offerings to cover even more brands next year is a sizeable vote of confidence in a market that has proven quite challenging for traditional tech and gadget companies. Apple seems like the only major player that has managed to gain any significant ground with its smartwatch offerings – without resorting to giveaways or other deep discounts to clear inventory. Embattled Pebble finally gave up the ghost last year, resulting an a fire sale of its assets to Fitbit – which used those resources to produce the ugliest piece of wristwear you can currently get for $300.
The new full-round AMOLED models for 2017 were revealed earlier this year, and offer additional improvements on top of better displays, including slimmer, sleeker cases. This is part of an intentional strategy to market more to female buyers, Fossil says, who have presumably shied away from the bulky smartwatches that marked Fossil’s earliest connected wrist hardware.
By the end of this year alone, Fossil Group will have launched over 300 distinct connected watch styles across 14 brands, the company points out. That’s a bonkers number, but proof that the future of wearables probably won’t belong to tech – but to fashion brands eager not to be shouldered out of the watch market generally, and willing to offer the kind of stylistic variation and range that appeals to fashion conscious consumers.