Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Google buys Fossil smartwatch IP for $40m

Steve Rogerson
January 23, 2019

Google may be preparing to make a serious challenge to Apple in the smartwatch market following its $40m purchase of smartwatch technology from Fossil Group for $40m.
As part of the transaction, a portion of Fossil Group’s research and development (R&D) team supporting the transferring IP will join Google.
“Wearables built for wellness, simplicity, personalisation and helpfulness have the opportunity to improve lives by bringing users the information and insights they need quickly, at a glance,” said Stacey Burr, vice president for Wear OS at Google. “The addition of Fossil Group’s technology and team to Google demonstrates our commitment to the wearables industry by enabling a diverse portfolio of smartwatches and supporting the ever-evolving needs of the vitality-seeking, on-the-go consumer.”
Fossil Group is keeping more than 200 R&D team members to focus on innovation and product development.
The transaction showcases Fossil Group and Google’s shared investment in the wearables industry. In recent years, smartwatches have become Fossil Group’s fastest growing category. The company successfully developed and launched smartwatches across 14 of its owned and licensed brands.
“Fossil Group has experienced significant success in its wearables business by focusing on product design and development informed by our strong understanding of consumers’ needs and style preferences,” said Greg McKelvey, executive vice president at Fossil Group. “We’ve built and advanced a technology that has the potential to improve upon our existing platform of smartwatches. Together with Google, our innovation partner, we’ll continue to unlock growth in wearables."
The transaction is expected to close this month.
Texas-based Fossil Group is a design, marketing, distribution and innovation company specialising in lifestyle accessories. Under a portfolio of owned and licensed brands, its offerings include fashion watches, jewellery, handbags, small leather goods and wearables.