Google’s fall hardware event will see the announcement of both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Android flagships, as well as a Pixel-branded smartwatch, known industry insider Evan Blass said Thursday, citing “a reliable source.” Google is also planning on debuting the second-generation Pixel Buds at the same happening, as per the same report.
While the Pixel 3 lineup was already widely expected to launch this October, the existence of the other two products has been less certain up until now, with the Pixel Buds enjoying a mixed reception from both critics and consumers alike, whereas Google also gave little indication of being interested in creating a first-party smartwatch so far.
A Pixel-series wearable would presumably be based on the same philosophy Google followed while creating the Pixel smartphone series, being meant to serve as both an ultra-premium representative of its product category and a reference design for other original equipment manufacturers to follow.
Google’s China division reportedly increased its focus on wearables last year and with Android Wear now being rebranded into Wear OS so as to be more inclusive, the tech giant may be looking to illustrate what its new wearable ecosystem is meant to represent with a first-party smartwatch.
Android Wear launched over four years ago but is still behind Apple’s watchOS in terms of market share, according to every major analytics company in the segment, with the industry-wide consensus being that Apple Watches now amount for over 40-percent of the market on their own. Wear OS also competes with Samsung’s Tizen and a number of independent alternatives.
Google said its March transition from Android Wear to Wear OS was meant to reflect the fact that every third owner of an Android Wear product was also an iPhone users, thus communicating the platform’s capabilities more effectively and avoiding confusing consumers who may think the system only works with Android smartphones.
Qualcomm on Tuesday confirmed it’s following up on the Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip after more than two years this fall, adding that its new silicon will be found inside at least one premium smartwatch that will go on sale in time for the 2018 holiday season.
It’s presently unclear whether Google is the entity behind that intelligent timepiece and if the Alphabet-owned company even has the capabilities to mass-produce a smartwatch in-house, or if it will once again turn to one of its technology partners for help in bringing another hardware product to the market.
In case of the latter, one of the likeliest candidates for the Pixel smartwatch manufacturer is LG Electronics, with the South Korean company already boasting established small OLED panel manufacturing operations delivering screens for wearables and strengthening its relationship with Google in recent times across all consumer electronics segments.
Besides the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, and second-gen Pixel Buds, a reliable source tells me — with high confidence — that Google's fall hardware event will also introduce a Pixel-branded watch. Have a great summer!
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) May 10, 2018