According to a recent rumor passed along by industry insider on Chinese social platform Weibo, Samsung may have teamed up with Google for the development of a Wear OS-enabled smartwatch, and the wearable in question is none other than the upcoming Samsung Gear S4. Additionally, the source claims that the Gear S4 will hit the market under a different moniker, namely the “Galaxy Watch,” which was trademarked with the United States Patent and Trademark Office earlier this month alongside the Galaxy Fit moniker, though Samsung already secured the same trademarks over half a decade ago.
The new rumor indicates Samsung is doing a U-turn with its Gear wearables this year and could make a comeback to Google’s operating system for wearables. However, while the Samsung Gear S4 or the so-called Galaxy Watch could end up running Wear OS, formerly known as Android Wear, this isn’t necessarily an indication that the South Korean tech giant intends on abandoning its own software platform Tizen altogether. There have been reports that the Gear S4 might launch in two sizes, and in light of these new rumors, it's possible that the wearable could also be released with two OS options, giving more choices to prospective buyers who might want to own Samsung’s hardware but don’t necessarily want to sign up for the Tizen OS experience. However, committing fully to the Wear OS platform for its next smartwatch wouldn’t make much sense for Samsung given how most of the OEM’s wearables now rely on Tizen and have done so for the past few years, not to mention that Samsung already committed significant resources to keeping its OS updated on a regular basis.
Earlier reports also suggested that Samsung is developing the Gear S4 in the United States, and this might also make it easier for Google and Samsung to collaborate on the creation of a new Wear OS device, assuming it exists. There’s also a possibility that Samsung’s Tizen-powered wearables could continue to be known by the “Gear” moniker, while their Wear OS counterparts could adopt the “Galaxy” moniker, or vice versa.