During the 2021 edition of the Google I/O, its annual developer event, Google announced a new version of its operating system for smartwatches, the Wear OS, the result of a merger with the Tizen system used in Samsung watches. What has not been announced, and is still unclear, is whether there is a plan to migrate devices already on the market to the new version of the system.

Em declaration to XDA Developers, a Google spokesperson stated that “the user experience is a priority for us. We have not confirmed the eligibility or schedule for upgrading the Wear OS smartwatches to the new unified platform. There are many technical requirements to run the platform, which ensure that all components of the user experience are optimized.”

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In other words, Google does not promise an update for current devices, citing the old reason for the "usage experience". The company suggests that a SmartWatch current running the new platform would not perform satisfactorily for users, something anyone who has ever tried to upgrade a very old smartphone to a recent version of its operating system can understand.

But Qualcomm, which develops the chipsets used on devices with WearOS, he disagrees. Also in a statement to XDA Developers, a company spokesperson stated that its newer chipsets, and even older ones, are capable of running the new system. But that everything “depends on Google”.

"We are working with Google to bring Wear OS 3.0 to the Snapdragon Wear 4100+ and 4100 platforms. The Snapdragon Wear 3100, 4100+ and 4100 platforms are capable of running Wear OS 3.0, but we are not discussing details at this time." 

Not updating current watches would cause serious fragmentation in the already fragile WearOS smartwatch market, relegating the obsolescence popular models like the Fossil Gen 5E, one of the best in the class, or even newly launched with the Mobvoi TicWatch 3E.

Despite seven years on the market, even before the launch of Apple Watch, no model with the Google system could even come close to the success of its competitor Apple. “Resetting” the ecosystem, abandoning dozens of models from various manufacturers, would not help to improve the situation.

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