Big players in any market tend to crowd out the less infamous ones and the Fossil smartwatches are the latest to take their final bow out of the industry. This is not to say that Fossil has not been among the most well-known companies when it comes to the business of smartwatches but as per the latest reports, the company has called it quits and is now retiring the Fossil smartwatch. The reports indicate that the Fossil Gen 6 release we saw all the way back in 2021 is the last we shall see of the Fossil line of smartwatches and there will be no more to come. Those who have been waiting for the Fossil Gen 7 Wear OS watch, only have the option of turning back to the older model before the remaining stocks of the device run out.
The End of Fossil Smartwatches is Neigh
If you’re wondering why the Fossil smartwatches are being retired then we’re just as uncertain as you are as the company hasn’t made any detailed press releases to explain the reasons behind the move. Talking to The Verge, Fossil executive VP and COO Jeff Boyer stated that the choice to leave the smartwatch business was a strategic decision for the company. “Fossil Group is redirecting resources to support our core strength and the core segments of our business that continue to provide strong growth opportunities for us: designing and distributing exciting traditional watches, jewelry, and leather goods under our own as well as licensed brand names.”
The company appears to be backing out of the “tech” industry while still remaining in the lifestyle and wearables segment which leads us to assume that there was little benefit they were seeing in the smartwatch business while trying to stay competitive. This is a fair reason considering how fast-changing the tech industry can be, with every new edition of a device required to have a vast array of upgraded features for it to stay relevant and convince users to make an upgrade. This becomes much easier for companies like Google and Apple considering their already considerable investments in tech-related research and innovation. For a company with a limited investment in wearable tech, a limited range of tech wearables might be hard to keep carrying forward and keep up with the changing market.
What Went Wrong With the Fossil Gen 6 Smartwatch?
The Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch made quite a bumpy debut and was unfortunately late to the scene even at launch. Just when Wear OS 3 was introduced by Google and Samsung, Fossil had geared up to release the original Fossil Gen 6 watch with Wear OS 2, making its arrival an outdated one while other smartwatches were moving on to the next iteration of technology. Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 made an appearance with the latest OS, stealing just about any of the thunder Fossil could have hoped for. Eventually, Fossil upgraded the same smartwatch to Wear OS 3 in 2022, but the Wellness Edition of the watch failed to impress either as there were no major reasons to pick up the watch and no hype around a new release, such as a debut that could have been created by an entirely redesigned Fossil Gen 7 device that customers could aim to get their hands on.
The Wear OS watches that were already on the market promised much more than the Fossil Gen 6, and the updated systems felt almost out of place on the device. Competitors were able to do a lot more with the OS such as provide a Google Assistant and monitor fitness much better. The Fossil smartwatch supported Alexa but wasn’t as well integrated as it could have been. While the company does a pretty good job with design and aesthetics, it was understandably wavering when it came to the internal workings of everything that makes a smartwatch useful.
There were many complaints about the quality of fitness tracking, sleep tracking, battery life, and other little issues that really stacked up against the device. Smartwatches are favored by those who really enjoy getting into the nitty-gritty details of such metrics and a watch that fails at consolidating this data just fails for many from the get-go.
Many hoped that we’d see the Fossil smartwatches get a do-over with a revitalized Fossil Gen 7 entry but with no updates at the CES 2023 event and radio silence ever since, we should have expected this move from the company. All things considered, the Fossil smartwatch series was an attractive line of smart accessories that managed to bring style into the picture without screaming “I obsess over fitness,” which made it a good alternative for those who wanted to be casual users of a smartwatch, but evidently, this cohort wasn’t enough to keep the sales numbers up where it needed to be.
For many, the Fossil Gen 6 was a more affordable alternative to things that were on the market so this will be a disappointing announcement for those who were hoping to see the company make a comeback. We hope Fossil finds its footing again and gets back to what it does best—bring style and pizzazz to our everyday experiences.