Fossil Reportedly Has No Faith In Next-Gen Qualcomm Wearable Chip

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Next-Gen Fossil smartwatches aren't going to use the latest Qualcomm wearable chip, based on recently-reported Bluetooth certification listings. The certifications here apply to devices with model designations aligning with last year's models. Specifically, those are listed as DW11F1, DW11F2, C1NF1, C1CF1, and C1EF1.

But none of those certifications take the processor forward to the Snapdragon Wear 4100. Instead, they're using older chipsets.

Why not use the latest Qualcomm wearable chip in new Fossil smartwatches?

There are several reasons why Fossil may have opted not to use the Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform.

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The first possibility and arguably the most likely is that the chip simply wasn't available yet when these products were finalized. The Snapdragon Wear 4100 and Wear 4100+ were only just announced last month. If the Fossil watches are already being Bluetooth certified, they're undoubtedly nearing announcement and launch.

So, even though companies such as Qualcomm offer their chips to OEMs in advance, it may simply not have been enough time to incorporate it.

Another possibility is that the new hardware was too expensive. If that's the case, Fossil may be choosing older hardware as a cost-saving measure. Qualcomm's new chips are expected to deliver a big boost in performance. But, as with its mobile chips, it's possible that prices would have risen significantly as well.

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Amid ongoing global health concerns and downturns in shopping, the extra costs have been too much for Fossil to be confident using the chips.

Of course, with no announcement yet and no word from Fossil, it's impossible to know for sure.

What does this mean for the upcoming watches?

Fossil isn't likely to provide any additional insight into the matter when these watches launch either. Typically, wearable OEMs and those in other industries don't comment on those types of decisions. They generally opt to just describe what's inside rather than why. But, as noted above, this does mean that potential buyers are going to need to temper expectations for these upcoming smartwatches.

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Without the latest hardware onboard, they probably aren't going to benefit from related improvements. The new platform is expected to offer a 25-percent reduction in power consumption. But it's also packed with both a better GPU and CPU as well as improved memory support. Bluetooth 5.0 is included and other improvements have been made as well.

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear as though any of that will find its way into Fossil's upcoming wearables for 2020 at this juncture.