But will Polar Electro itself produce them?
Although Finland-based fitness gear maker Polar Electro previously launched its first and last Wear OS smartwatch in 2016, the company is gearing up for another go at Wear OS. Back then, the M600 came pre-installed with Android Wear, and while Polar Electro was committed to updating the watch to Wear OS, Google gradually became noncommittal towards the platform. Polar is still producing trackers and smartwatches, but with its own custom operating system.
In an interview with Wareable, Polar Electro CEO Sander Werring indicated that Polar’s last smartwatch featuring Google’s OS was launched at a time when the company had to do the bulk of the work due to the lack of reference points for this type of technology on Wear OS. Werring believes that Google’s platform and “chipset manufacturers” (meaning Qualcomm) have developed enough for Polar Electro to consider another go at Wear OS. However, Werring did not confirm whether Polar Electro would produce its own Wear OS smartwatch or license them to other producers as part of its ‘Powered by Polar’ platform, which offers the company’s suite of fitness tools to other wearables. The first to benefit from the Powered by Polar program is the Casio G-SHOCK HBD-2000.
Wareable speculates (via TechRadar) that Polar Electro’s association with Wear OS could be limited to third-party watches, as the company is also participating in Qualcomm’s Wearable Ecosystem Accelerator program, which brings vendors from both the hardware and software sides together. Polar Electro has become firmly entrenched in the latter camp through not only Powered by Polar, but also its companion apps for its existing devices.
At present, with Google’s Pixel Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Watch series essentially taking over the market, it still feels like Wear OS 3.0 has yet to get off the ground, and other players like Fossil and Mobvoi could be gradually marginalized. The sooner Google is able to let OEMs run free, the better.