Fossil is about to make a huge shift to smartwatches and fitness trackers

Fossil has announced that it plans to flood the market with wearables in a sharp shift away from traditional watchmaking.

US watchmaker Fossil has been turning out timepieces since as far back as 1984, and counts itself among the progressive watchmakers who have kept pace with the smartwatch revolution.

To that end, Fossil has announced plans to massively increase the proportion of connected watches across its entirely portfolio. The big reveal came courtesy of Greg McKelvey, Chief Strategy Officer at Fossil Group, who was speaking during the opening keynote of the annual Qualcomm 5G Summit in Hong Kong.

Speaking to press – including Trusted Reviews – and key industry players, McKelvey said: “15% of our business is wearables. In the next three to four years, half of our business will have connectivity. We’re just getting started, we’re scaling it significantly. The next generations, we’re going to start getting cellular and connected.”

McKelvey also added that Fossil was looking at ways to bring “cellular [connectivity] to our back catalogue as well”.

Fossil watch

This is big news for fans of smartwatches and fitness trackers. Fossil is a major player in the watch industry, producing 50 million watches and accessories per year and holding a third-place share of the entire global traditional watch market.

The company’s core brands include Fossil and the recently acquired Misfit, but Fossil Group also makes licensed accessories for brands like Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Emporio Armani, Burberry, Kate Spade New York, Diesel, DKNY, Karl Lagerfeld, and Adidas.

We’ve already seen smartwatches from Michael Kors, for instance. In fact, Fossil Group currently has 14 brands across smartwatches, hybrid smartwatches, and trackers.

McKelvey was speaking during the 5G Summit keynote, which is hosted by US chipmaker Qualcomm. The conference’s main focus is 5G, but there was plenty of focus on connected devices. Qualcomm is a major player in this sector; in fact, Cristiano Amon, EVP of Qualcomm Technologies, revealed that the company has “1.5 billion [connected] devices that have already shipped using Qualcomm technologies” during the event.

Amon added: “I do believe the best years of the wireless industry are still ahead of us.”

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