Google acquires Fossil smartwatch technology for $40M

Fossil’s fourth generation of smartwatches
Google is buying smartwatch technology from Fossil that's still under development and has yet to hit the market. (Fossil)

Google is acquiring intellectual property from Fossil related to smartwatch technology that’s still under development, according to Wareable.com. The deal, which is pegged at $40 million, will bring some of Fossil’s research and development team to Google and will lead to the release of a “new product innovation that’s not yet hit the market,” Greg McKelvey, Fossil’s executive vice president, told the outlet.

The new product, which is expected to fall under Google’s Wear OS lineup, will reportedly introduce new features and benefits that aren’t in the market today. Much of the technology is based on intellectual property that Fossil originally acquired from Misfit for $260 million in 2015.

The new technology will also eventually be available to all of Google’s Wear OS partners, so it won’t be limited to an exclusive device from Google. The deal is scheduled to close this month, but Google and Fossil are remaining tight-lipped as to when customers will see it come to fruition in actual products.

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The global smartphone market grew 67% percent year over year, reaching 10 million units in the third quarter of 2018, according to research from Strategy Analytics. Apple dominates with 45% market share, although it’s down considerably from 60% a year prior, according to the firm. Fitbit captured 15% of the global smartwatch market, and Samsung garnered 11% of the market during the same period.