Can Google’s Pixel Watch Be a Game Changer in Smartwatch Market?

Google has finally unveiled its first smartwatch — Pixel Watch. No surprise here, considering that this is being predicted since 2019, when Google announced its acquisition of Fitbit. At the same time, there has been a lot of market interest in the details.

Although Google did not mention the price or detailed specifications, user-friendly software such as Google Maps, Google Wallet and Emergency SoS and the body designed in the shape of a circular dome are enough to be attractive options for users in many ways.


What has been officially announced?

  • Design: Unlike Apple Watch, Google has chosen a round-shaped display. Compared to Samsung’s Galaxy Watch, it has a slightly more dome-shaped and convex design. There is a tactile crown in the center of the right frame.
  • GMS powered by Wear OS: Google increases user convenience by allowing them to use Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Wallet.
  • Cellular connectivity: Consumers will have the option to pick a cellular version of the model, which will allow for an LTE connection even without a smartphone.
  • Deep integration with Fitbit: The Pixel Watch is equipped with healthcare features such as heart rate and sleep tracking that Fitbit already has.
  • Release date: It is coming this fall with the new Pixel 7 smartphone. So, it will be on the market this October.

What about the specifications?

Other than the details mentioned above, Google has not announced the device’s detailed specifications. But here are some specifications that can be expected:

  • Display: 1.4’’ OLED
  • Memory: 32 GB internal storage, 1.5 GB RAM
  • Chipset: Samsung Exynos 9110
  • Battery: 300mAh
  • SPO2 and ECG monitoring features
  • Price: About $250


Why Google wants to enter smartwatch market?

In the smartphone market, Google has gained strong influence with its Android OS, but Wear OS, its operating system for wearables, is yet to show a significant presence in the market.

Starting with the use of Wear OS on the Galaxy Watch 4 through a partnership with Samsung last year, Google has now laid a firm foundation for improving and optimizing its wearable OS with its own Pixel Watch. And through this, Google can also grow its influence in the wearable market.

In terms of hardware, the smartwatch may become the foothold for Google to enter the healthcare market, which has great growth potential, as smartwatches are evolving into healthcare devices rather than simply acting as auxiliary devices for smartphones.

However, Google is more likely to consider growing revenues from healthcare services such as disease prediction and customized exercise suggestions, based on health data collected through its smartwatches, rather than solely depending on the revenue from device sales.


Global smartwatch market outlook

The global smartwatch market recorded remarkable growth in 2021, shipping 28% more devices compared to the previous year. The market was adversely affected by COVID-19 in 2020 but was able to record rapid growth soon by amplifying consumers’ interest in health and fitness. During this period, new manufacturers entered the market, bringing in more models, designs and price points. This has been another factor that has enabled market growth by broadening consumer choice.

However, growth slowed down to 13% YoY in Q1 2022 due to inflation and the Russia-Ukraine war. We expect this slowdown to continue until at least Q2 this year. The market will regain energy in H2 thanks to the launch of new models by Apple and Samsung and the entry of Google into the market.


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Sujeong Lim is a Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research based out of Seoul Korea. In Counterpoint, she focuses on mobile ICT industry and mobile device research, especially dedicated on the Korea mobile market. After 10+ years product marketing experience during her working period, she joined Counterpoint to pursue her interest in IoT and emerging future technology.

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