In August Patently Apple posted a report titled “Amazon Enters the Smart Health & Fitness Market to take on Apple Watch with the Halo Device and Annual Membership.” Beyond promotional prices, by 2021 the retail price of Halo will be US$99 + $4/month Membership.
With Google getting the green light for their acquisition of Fitbit in Europe, Google will have a line of fitness bands regularly priced at between US$99 to $219. This could motivate Apple to enter this market at some point in time. Apple was granted a patent in June for a fitness tracker-like device.
Earlier this month Google was granted design patent D904,920 titled “Wristband for tracking Fitness.” It was originally filed more than a year before Amazon’s Halo came to market. So they’re not copying Amazon’s Halo as they’re on record as having a similarly-styled fitness tracker filed with the U.S. Patent Office. A few of the key design patent figures from Google’s design patent are presented below.
Whether Google will accelerate their patented fitness band or abandon it due to their Fitbit acquisition is unknown at this time. However, Google has the financial might to afford to put together a “fitness program” to go along with their device that could match either Amazon’s Halo or Apple’s Fitness+. It’s the trend that almost demands that Google adopt their patented fitness band.
Google Design Patent: Future Pixel Phone
At the top of the month Google was granted a series four design patents covering a possible future Pixel smartphone that will have no face side camera hole. Under the display there’s a microphone slot presented, but there’s no camera hole of any kind as the patent figures below prove out. None of the four design patents illustrate a face side camera hole.
The images presented above are from Google’s design Patent D903,618. The other three design patents, though ever so slightly different, cover a common design. The other design patents could be found under numbers D903,619, D903,620 and D903,622.
Last month Patently Apple reported on Samsung and China’s Xiaomi planning to release next-gen smartphones with face side cameras under the display in 2021. So Google’s design patents are inline with this trend.
Last January we posted a report titled “An Apple Supplier now Delivers a Sensor Breakthrough that will Totally Eliminate the iPhone’s Nasty Notch.”
This is the goal of most smartphone makers who know that consumers generally don’t like camera notches or even camera holes. Apple is likely to follow this trend. The only question is timing to market.