At the Google I/O 2021, Google and Samsung said they were teaming up on a joint software platform for smartwatches and other wearables in a move ramping up competition with market leader Apple. The move means Samsung will use Google’s Wear OS for its upcoming Galaxy smartwatches instead of its own Tizen platform. “We’re bringing the best of Wear and Tizen into a single, unified platform,” said Google Wear project director Bjorn Kilburn. “By working together, we have been able to take strengths of each and combine them into an experience that has faster performance, longer battery life, and more of the apps you love available for the watch.”
The combination will allow all device markets to use this platform, creating an ecosystem that could challenge Apple, the longtime leader in the smartwatch segment with about a third of the market, as Google integrates its newly acquired wearables maker Fitbit.
Samsung vice president Janghyun Yoon said in a separate statement the South Korean firm “constantly pursues new ways to meet the ever-changing needs of consumers,” adding, “That’s why we decided to team up with Google… to bring the best of our platforms together into one unified experience.