The announcement at CES 2021 of Fossil’s first LTE connected smartwatch was somewhat bittersweet, as the Gen 5 LTE is limited to Verizon subscribers at the moment. That means unless you’re already with the carrier or plan to switch, you’re out of luck if you want the watch. It wasn’t the best news for Fossil fans outside the U.S. either. However, there’s some good news regarding the future of Fossil’s LTE plans.
Fossil confirmed in a conversation with Digital Trends following the announcement of the Gen 5 LTE, that the company’s goal is to add more carrier support and to launch the Gen 5 LTE globally during the first six months of 2021. Additionally, it’s also working on adding the LTE connected functionality to Apple’s iOS too.
Adding LTE to a smartwatch is a milestone for the brand, having so far not released a model with cellular functionality until this point, despite the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, and various other Wear OS smartwatches all coming with a 4G connection over the past years.
Adding LTE to a smartwatch is more complicated than you’d think, but Fossil has sorted it out.
A strong partnership with Verizon and Google helped Fossil quickly navigate the complexities in certification and technology related to LTE smartwatches, but its next priority is to get more of the brand’s global regions onboard. It’s good news, as more choice is always welcome. Regarding iOS compatibility, Fossil’s developers are working on bringing LTE functionality to watches connected to iPhones, but there isn’t a release date yet.
Fossil also makes smartwatches for several fashion brands, including Diesel, Michael Kors, and Skagen, so does that mean we should look out for LTE connected watches from them? Whether the tech does come to other brands in the Fossil family hasn’t been decided yet. Fossil wants to make sure it’s something that’s appropriate for the individual brand before going ahead. For example, will dedicated Diesel fans actually want the tech on their watches? It appears that expansion outside of Fossil is possible, but not certain.
The Gen 5 LTE was just one of Fossil’s announcements at CES, where it was joined by the Skagen Jorn Hybrid HR and the Michael Kors Access Gen 5E Darci smartwatches. All feature on our roundup of the best wearable tech from CES 2021.