Qualcomm debuts the Snapdragon Wear 2100 in Fossil smartwatches

Fossil's new Q Wander and Q Marshal smartwatches are the first to feature the processor.

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Fossil's new Q Wander and Q Marshal smartwatches are powered by the Snapdragon Wear 2100.

Qualcomm on Thursday debuted its latest foray into the wearables market, announcing that Fossil's new Q Wander and Q Marshal smartwatches are the first to feature the Snapdragon Wear 2100.

The Snapdragon Wear 2100, which was unveiled earlier this year, will be "key to the fashion industry", Qualcomm Marketing Director Jim Merrick told ZDNet. The processor, Qualcomm Technologies' second-generation processor for Android Wear smartwatches, innovates in four key ways, he said. It boasts better power efficiency as well as a smaller size, and it incorporates low-power sensors that are always on. It also offers a range of connectivity options.

Qualcomm was an early mover in wearables, designing one of the first smartwatches, called Toq, to hit the market. After learning from that venture, the chipmaker has been able to firmly position itself in the market, Merrick told ZDNet. The Snapdragon is already found in more than 100 wearables in the market, including around 80 percent of Android Wear watches.

As one of the largest companies in the fashion watch industry, Fossil opens more doors for Qualcomm. "We see this as the start of a beautiful friendship between Fossil and Qualcomm," Merrick said.

Fossil, for its part, said it's investing for the long term in wearables due to increasing demand for attractive smartwatches.

"Today's announcement is part of a broader plan to introduce more than 100 wearables this year," said Greg McKelvey, Fossil Group's chief strategy and chief digital officer, in a statement. "We envision a day when every watch we make will have some type of connectivity in it."

While a "killer app" for wearables has yet to emerge, as Merrick acknowledged, the market is expected to more than double by 2020, according to IDC's forecast. Shipments are projected to reach 213.6 million units, with watches accounting for more than 52 percent of those shipments.

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