Qualcomm’s Next-Gen Smartwatch Chipset Launching September 10th
Qualcomm is holding a press event on September 10, and while it is not sharing many details just yet, the invitations it sent out to members of the press hint that it will launch something related to smartwatches. Whether that means Qualcomm is getting back into developing its own smartwatches or plans to release a new smartwatch chipset remains to be seen.
You have to go back several years to when Qualcomm made a run at the smartwatch market with the introduction of the Toq, which it released in limited quantities in December 2013. It mainly served as a proof-of-concept for OEMs. It had a 1.55-inch Mirasol display powered by a 200MHz Cortex-M3 processor, with a battery that was purportedly good for up to 5 days.
More recently, Qualcomm's smartwatch efforts have been focused on the underlying platform. The company released the Snadragon Wear 2100 SoC around two and a half years ago, and earlier this summer, it debuted the Snapdragon Wear 2500 to power smartwatches for kids.
If we had to guess, the upcoming press event will see the launch of a new flagship chipset. The Snapdragon Wear 2100 is a bit long in the tooth at this point, and smartwatches have become more capable since it was released.
A new chipset would also benefit and its Google's Wear OS software platform. Every Wear OS watch runs on Qualcomm hardware, and launching a newer, faster chipset to power the platform would be welcomed by OEMs and customers alike. Qualcomm's Pankaj Kedia talked a bit about this to Wareable in May, saying its next smartwatch chipset will "significantly change the Wear OS ecosystem."