gearfit 22Image: Michael Homnick

Report: Samsung will parade an Android Wear smartwatch at Google I/O

If Samsung keeps exploring smartwatch operating systems with such reckless abandon, it might very well release a wearable running iOS.

I kid, of course. But a late Friday report from CNET says Samsung will show off a smartwatch running the Android Wear OS at Google’s I/O conference next week. Such a move would signal a dramatic about-face in Samsung’s smartwatch strategy. In 2013, the company released the Android-based Galaxy Gear, but unceremoniously dropped Google and switched to the Tizen OS for its Gear 2 wearables this April.

And now it appears Samsung is joining smaller mobile manufacturers LG and Motorola in their support for Android Wear. The CNET report even references an unnamed source who says Samsung’s Android Wear device could be a freebie gift for every I/O attendee. The smart money has always been on the LG G Watch as the headlining goodie bag giveaway for 2014 attendees, so if Samsung wins that honor, it will be a stunner.

When Android Wear was announced and began enchanting the world with its promises of Google Now magic strapped to one’s wrist, Samsung remained coy. The company didn’t outright dismiss the possibility of an Android Wear watch, but reaffirmed its commitment to Tizen. And that position more or less continues today. According to CNET, Samsung wouldn’t comment on this Google I/O news, but said it is “committed to relentless innovation and new products are always in development.”

Translation: We will keep developing smartwatches until we land on one that people like.

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