Qualcomm announces new accelerator program in new push against Apple Watch


NEW DELHI: Chip giant Qualcomm announced on Tuesday that it plans to increase investment in its platform for wearable devices – Snapdragon Wear. The company announced a new Qualcomm Wearables Ecosystem Accelerator program, supported by more than 60 companies involved in the ecosystem. This includes other chip makers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and original design companies (ODMs).

Big names like ARM, BBK Electronics, Fossil, Oppo, Vodafone, Verizon and Zebra are joining the initiative. “The wearable device market has grown 21% year-over-year and shows no signs of slowing down,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research director, Wearable Mobile Device Trackers, at the International Data Corporation (IDC Consumers are demanding new use cases in wearable devices. The smartwatch segment goes far beyond health and fitness tracking, expanding into consumer and business segments, and fueling further category growth, ”Ubrani said.

The initiative can be seen as a renewed effort by the Android wearable ecosystem to push back Apple’s dominance in the industry. The iPhone maker had a 36.2% market share in the fourth quarter of 2020 with 55.6 million shipments of its Apple Watch during the quarter. Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei followed in the next three places, with 13.5 million, 13 million and 10.2 million shipments respectively.

Qualcomm’s program comes just months after Google and Samsung announced a partnership to merge their wearable software and create a new system. Between Qualcomm’s efforts to bring the industry together and the collaboration between Google and Samsung, it appears companies are trying to reduce industry fragmentation. Apple’s smartwatches, like its iPhones, benefit from the tech giant’s tight control over the hardware and software in its ecosystem.

To be clear, these companies are unlikely to completely eliminate fragmentation. After all, the industry still sees one company making the end device, another control design, and even more controlling various aspects of the hardware, but the initiative could help set standards that will lead to better performance in the long run. term.

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