What can Google do to compete with the Apple Watch? Not much

Apple Watch Series 5 in space black titanium.
Apple Watch Series 5 in space black titanium running watchOS 6.

“I, along with pretty much every other reporter who watches Android closely, have been bemoaning the sorry state of smartwatch options for Android users for quite some time. A bunch of options are fine, but none are great,” Dieter Bohn writes for The Verge:

Google is nowhere near being able to take on the Apple Watch directly. Wear OS is getting more mature as a software platform — it has most of the features you’d want, albeit in basic form. But the hardware it runs on is not very good…

You can probably guess what I think Google should do: try again to make something itself. No other company is going to do much more than experiment with Wear OS, there’s no existential incentive to do so. Even Qualcomm doesn’t seem interested.

All of which means Android users need to temper their expectations, because figuring out how to get the right processor to make a good watch is not a thing that any company can do in just a year or even two. Maybe Google’s already been working on it, maybe not.

MacDailyNews Take: We’d love to see an Amazing Race sort of contest that pits an iPhone user wearing an Apple Watch against some poor schlub with an Android phone and a stupidwatch strapped to his wrist in a race around the world through airports, forests, lakes and oceans because we do so love to see the dejected looks on Android settlers’ forlorn faces after they’ve been pummeled even deeper into their personal pits of stupidity by Apple’s infinitely superior, seamless solutions.

Nothing quenches our schadenfreudian thirst like Android settlers’ tears*.

*Well, except for the tears of Windows sufferers; those poor bastages can cry up an ocean.


  1. I read the article earlier. It’s true, Wear OS is in terrible shape. It’s a chicken and egg thing. Qualcomm isn’t going to spend too much to update the SoC without increased sales. Wear OS won’t get sales unless there’s better hardware to drive it.

    But the biggest problem that I see is price. Unless you’re an athletic type, and are willing to buy a Garmin, which can be expensive, you’re not going to spend over $300, or even $250 to buy a smartwatch on the Android platform, where worldwide, the average Android phone costs $230.

    It’s different on iOS, because the average phone sells for $750. But few iOS users are going to buy a Wear OS smartwatch.

    So unless they can make a real smartwatch for $200, with a modern processor, I don’t see smart watches selling well to Android users. And by real, I don’t mean a glorified fitness tracker that’s pretending to be a smartwatch. There are a number out there, and ‘Fitbit comes to mind with their less expensive models.

  2. Google can easily make more money from advertising and skimming personal data from users. Google has been given some relatively high target prices, so I don’t think the company has any concerns about trying to compete with AppleWatch. Google would be wise to stay away from hardware when it can make far more money from software and services. If Apple ever opened up AppleWatch to Android smartphones, Apple would make a killing. Apple could probably sell more AppleWatches if it could be supported by at least iPads.

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