The upcoming Montblanc Summit 3 will not only run Wear OS 3, but will be the first smartwatch on the new unified platform to support iOS – so to speak.
The news — originally reported by Usable – was confirmed The edge by Qualcomm spokeswoman Lauren Miller. The Summit 3 isn’t the first smartwatch to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 Plus platform, but it is the first to launch with Wear OS 3 already installed. The fact that it also supports iOS is a notable departure from other confirmed Wear OS 3 watches. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series and the upcoming Google Pixel Watch are exclusive to Android users.
Older smartwatches running Wear OS 2 and Samsung Tizen, which have never been particularly popular with iPhone owners, work with iOS. Wear OS 2 watches running on the 4100 Plus chipset can be upgraded to Wear OS 3 later this year – although it’s unclear if they’ll still be iOS-compatible after the upgrade. The fact that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Pixel Watch ditched iOS indicated that Wear OS 3 would be a closed ecosystem. However, Montblanc’s decision to support iPhone users suggests that other Wear OS watchmakers like Fossil and Mobvoi could follow suit for future watches, or even retain some form of iOS compatibility as they update older watches.
According to Miller, the Summit 3 will have a dedicated companion app for both iOS and Android that will act as a “bridge between the phone and the watch.” It also suggests that Fossil and Mobvoi may also need to develop their own apps if they want to keep iOS users in the mix.
But just because the Summit 3 works with iPhones doesn’t mean iOS users will get the same Wear OS 3 experience as Android users.
“Our priority for Wear OS 3 is to focus on high-quality experiences within the Android ecosystem,” said Google spokeswoman Ivy Chen Hunt The edge. “The Montblanc Summit 3 will run Wear OS 3 and be compatible with iPhones. However, support for apps and experiences varies by phone platform.” Hunt went on to explain that Google supports iOS with apps and services like YouTube Music and notification mirroring, and that the company plans to expand support in the future.
Given that, it’s probably safe to assume that Wear OS 3 on iPhones won’t be quite as good – at least not at first glance. We won’t know exactly how the iOS experience will differ until the Montblanc Summit 3 launches on July 15th. However, the watch costs a staggering €1,250 (roughly $1,300). While the Summit 3 is technically the first iOS-compatible Wear OS 3 watch, you might be better off waiting for more affordable options from Fossil or Mobvoi, which could be available later this fall.