Google Buys Up Smartwatch Tech from Fossil Group for $40M

From PC Mag: Could a Google Pixel smartwatch be in the works?

Timepiece maker Fossil Group is selling some of its smartwatch technology to Google for $40 million. As part of the deal, Fossil is also transferring a portion of the company's R&D team over to Google.

Google hasn't elaborated on how it'll use Fossil's team or technology, except to say the deal will pave the way for a more "diverse portfolio of smartwatches." But it isn't the first time the company has purchased technology from a device maker.

In 2017, the tech giant paid $1.1 billion for part of HTC's smartphone team to continue work on Google's Pixel phones. Since then, the company has been steadily adding to the Pixel brand with new smartphone, Chromebook and tablet models. But missing from the portfolio has been a Pixel-branded wearable. Google's key rival, Apple, on the other hand, remains the leading vendor in the smartwatch space.

Although it's unclear if a Pixel smartwatch is on the horizon, Google has been pushing industry adoption of the company's Wear OS platform, which is in use by over a dozen vendors, including Fossil Group. In November, the company launched a new fitness-based smartwatch with the operating system that retails for $255.

Fossil Group told PCMag that the intellectual property it's selling to Google "does not relate" to its current smartwatch technology. Thursday's deal also doesn't mean an end to the company's smartwatch development.

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