When Fossil confirmed that it wouldn't update its existing smartwatches to the all-new Wear OS, speculation was rife that this could possibly be due to hardware limitations. It turns out that this might not be true, as Qualcomm has confirmed that its existing chipsets can handle the new software that Google has baked up in collaboration with Samsung.
A spokesperson for the chipset company has revealed to XDA Developers that the Snapdragon Wear 3100 and Snapdragon Wear 4100/4100+ processors are "capable" of running Wear OS 3.0 (internal name). However, no further details were shared for us to make any deductions from, apart from the fact that a hardware upgrade shouldn't necessarily be required to support the new Wear OS edition.
Fossil has already confirmed that its Gen 5 won't get the new update.
Even if you own a Wear OS watch that is powered by either of the aforementioned processors, it's best not to read too much into the statement. While it does offer some hope, the truth is that there are several factors at play here, and ultimately, the ball lies in the court of smartwatch manufacturers — not Qualcomm.
Until we get more clarity on the update situation, I'd suggest you hold off on your plans of buying a new Wear OS watch. After all, it would be a bummer if your brand-spanking new accessory won't get what sure looks like it's going to be the platform's most significant update in years.
Statement from Google