Qualcomm is the dominant player in the smartphone market and its chipset are at the heart of almost every other Android device sold in the market. However, Qualcomm‘s reputation in the wearable segment does not match its performance in the smartphone market. That could change with the launch of a new chipset from the San Diego-based chipmaker.
Qualcomm has announced an event on September 10 where it plans to have a big announcement. The teaser for the event shows a circular watch with smartwatch face that shows battery life, step count and weather for San Francisco. In its Twitter post, Qualcomm has shared an image with the word ‘Snapdragon wear’, which confirms the plan for a new wearable platform.
The time has almost come! We’re making a big announcement on September 10. ⌚👀 pic.twitter.com/dcIwNvLHB8
— Qualcomm (@Qualcomm) September 4, 2018
Qualcomm’s last major launch in the wearable segment was the Snapdragon Wear 2100, which was announced in February of 2016. With SD2100, Qualcomm promised features like always-on connectivity, low power usage with long battery and compact device form factor. However, the launch of Snapdragon Wear 2100 did not catch the imagination of OEM partners and did not really lead to launch of large number of devices on the platform.
While Qualcomm is not sharing what it plans to launch on September 10, it could well be the successor to Snapdragon Wear 2100. The new chip should enable improved battery life, low power consumption and might also bring features like 4.5G LTE connectivity. Qualcomm’s biggest product is its compact mobile modem design and we could see that coming to wearables at the September 10 event.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 series processor uses a quad-core architecture with four Cortex A7 CPU clocked at 1.2GHz. It integrates Adreno 304 GPU for graphics and has an X5 LTE baseband module. The new chipset should adopt modern architecture, improved data connectivity and might offer support for Android 9 Pie out of the box.
Watch: Samsung Galaxy Watch First Look
Qualcomm and Google with its Wear OS have failed to penetrate the wearable market, which continues to grow despite lack of enthusiasm from consumers. Apple is the clear leader here followed by Samsung and Fitbit. Samsung uses its own Tizen OS for wearables while Fitbit relies on a tweaked version of Pebble OS for its smartwatch. With next Snapdragon Wear platform, both Qualcomm and Google would be hoping to renew interest in the segment and get its OEM partners to launch more wearables.