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Google just missed the best opportunity to reveal the Pixel Watch

OPINION: At the time of writing, all you Google fans out there will have no doubt seen the official unveiling of the company’s most premium smartphones yet, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

While these are certainly fine phones and will no doubt give the best Android phones a run for their money, Google failed to capitalise on the optimum moment to unveil its Pixel Watch – and it could have serious repercussions.

Even though its presence was first unveiled way back at the start of the summer, Wear OS 3 is currently available in just one wearable: the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.

As anyone who’s tried using the Galaxy Watch 4 knows, the long-awaited update to Wear OS’s stagnant platform is phenomenal, and it shows so much promise, particularly as a genuine Android alternative to Apple’s watchOS.

What I don’t understand though, is Google’s nonsensical approach to rolling it out.

At present, we know that Wear OS 3 will be making its way to a handful of other wearables including the Fossil Gen 6 and the TicWatch Pro 3, but this won’t be happening until well into 2022.

The reasoning behind this hasn’t been made clear in the slightest, but the fact that it’s been delayed at all would imply that Google has an ace up its sleeve – something that could show the smartwatch industry the full potential of Wear OS 3 (outside of the Samsung ecosystem).

After all, this has been the biggest problem with Wear OS – without hardware to back up its investment, Google’s interest in Wear OS has, in the past, seemed flippant at best particularly when compared to how it’s embraced Android. If Google were to release the long-rumoured Pixel Watch now, it would show that it is finally taking Wear OS seriously. In being a no-show however, Google has now done the complete opposite.

Without a flagship Wear OS watch to lead the charge, the delayed rollout of Wear OS 3 starts to come across like it’s simply a result of Google dragging its heels, and that the only reason it currently exists on the Galaxy Watch 4 is because of applied pressure from Samsung. After all, Samsung is hardly in the habit of forgoing an update cycle, especially at a time when Xiaomi is encroaching on the company’s profit margins.

The only hope now is that Google finally announces the Pixel Watch during next year’s I/O event, otherwise it could mean that the market will have to wait almost a year (from the Galaxy Watch 4’s launch) for another Wear OS 3 powered smartwatch. If the start of the year felt like Google’s grand return to the wearables space, then the last remaining months are anything but.

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