Smartwatches have, for the past few years, been powered by a small set of chipsets purpose-built for the portability of these devices. And while different smartwatches have used different chipsets based on the brand and platform in question, Google’s Wear OS (formerly known as Android Wear) has largely depended on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear family of chipsets. The company has now unveiled its latest platform in the range, the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100. And interestingly, the first smartphone to be powered by this chipset will be the rather luxurious Montblanc Summit 2.
The successor to last year’s Montblanc Summit, the Summit 2 will likely be priced at around the same range as its predecessor. The Montblanc Summit can be purchased in India for around Rs 70,000 or so, putting the watch firmly in the premium category. It’s targeted at luxury buyers; people who have the kind of spending power it takes to purchase one of the company’s premium mechanical wristwatches or writing instruments.
Interestingly, it isn’t a traditional smartwatch maker such as LG, Samsung or Sony that is the first on the new Qualcomm platform, but instead a company that has a stronger focus on traditional wristwatches. The other companies that have signed on as Qualcomm’s first customers for the new chipset are the Fossil Group and Louis Vuitton, indicating that traditional watchmakers are showing more interest in the Wear OS platform and smartwatches in general, rather than typical consumer electronics manufacturers.
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That isn’t to say that traditional electronics brands won’t be doing smartwatches; it’s likely that Google itself will unveil its first smartwatch alongside the Google Pixel 3 smartphones. The Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform is itself a much needed upgrade to the Wear range, which last saw a major chipset launched in 2016. Wear OS-powered smartwatches have failed to keep up with the competition as a result, as Apple has slowly taken over the market with its Apple Watch range.