Google and Samsung Going to Merge Wear OS and Tizen

A small revolution in smartwatch land: Google and Samsung are now going together for one operating system.


Wear (provisional name) combines the best of Wear OS and Tizen and should give both tech giants more clout against the Apple Watch – by far the world’s best-selling smartwatch.

The news was announced at the Google I / O developer conference taking place online this week. With Tizen, Samsung has had a solid platform for smartwatches for many years, but reviews always revealed the same Achilles heel: the fact that there are far fewer apps available for it than for Apple’s watchOS and Google’s Wear OS.

For Google, it is a huge boost to get Samsung on board for a universal operating system: clocks like the Galaxy Watch3 and Watch Active2 only have to tolerate the Apple Watch in terms of market share. Although the difference is still considerable: Samsung had a market share of ten percent in the last quarter of last year, compared to 40 percent for Apple.

In the third quarter, Huawei was slightly larger than Samsung (with fourteen versus ten percent). Still, partly due to the commotion surrounding the US trade embargo, the Chinese tech giant saw its share shrink to eight percent in Q4 (figures: Counterpoint).

According to Google and Samsung, the merger of Wear OS and Tizen should lead to three significant improvements: more speed (especially in launching apps), better battery life and ‘more timepieces, applications, and digital watch faces to choose from than ever before.

However, Google emphasizes that other manufacturers can add a customized ‘user experience’ to the platform, with the necessary room for their own innovations.

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