The alleged Google Pixel Watch hit the headlines again yesterday after a long hiatus. Keep in mind that a Google-made smartwatch has been rumored for years, and if the latest chatter is true, we may see it soon. Who knows, maybe Google will show something at the upcoming developer conference so that we can get more clarity.
Even if it took a long time, where would the alleged Pixel Watch sit and rank in a market that is saturated?
There are currently three important smartwatch categories: On the one hand, the Apple Watch runs on its own watchOS, on the other hand (pun intended) we all have devices that are operated with Google Wear OS. In between we have the HUAWEIs, the Samsungs, and the FitBits (to name a few) that run on a different platform, proprietary or not.
The Apple Watch really doesn’t compete with the other two categories as it’s only compatible with the iPhone. To be honest, an iPhone user will likely only buy an Apple Watch and not a third-party solution.
Pixel Watch and its competition
Now that we’ve thrown the Apple Watch out of the proverbial ring, the Pixel Watch has to compete with devices in the other two segments. Whether Tizen, HarmonyOS or another platform based on RTOS, these devices have already established themselves on the market.
Both HUAWEI and Samsung have some really compelling models on their shelves, for every look and budget. While the Pixel Watch has the advantage of giving you notifications that you can actually do something with instead of simply closing them, you just can’t beat the incredible battery life these watches offer. I think of HUAWEI and HONOR with their monstrous runs lasting more than a week.
… And then we have all the other offers with Wear OS, from Louis Vuitton to Mobvoi, and everything in between, designer or not. These are some heavyweights that have established themselves in the market with Google’s own Wear OS without Google Watch.
We also have to mention that if the rumors are true, Samsung will likely use Wear OS for its future models, making the competition even more breakneck.
All is not lost for the Pixel Watch
Before we write the pre-launch obituary for the Pixel Watch, it makes sense to acknowledge the likely future customer. Just like Apple users, the most likely buyer for a Google Pixel Watch is an owner of a Google Pixel smartphone. Yes, many brands can invest in the Google ecosystem, but purists will likely flock to the online stores to complete their Google hardware collection.
And I think that will be the whole thing Raison d’être for the Pixel Watch. It will likely be a niche product that isn’t necessarily aimed at the masses. Google could knowingly target a certain segment of the user base – the purists and loyalists – and in that way, on a smaller scale, give the Pixel Watch a chance to find its place in the market and grow. Sounds familiar? Just think of the Pixel phone palette, where it started and where it is today.
Which begs the question: is it too late for the Pixel Watch or will it be just right, with the right pricing and targeting? Let us know in the comments below: Would You Buy a Pixel Watch? Why?
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