There seems to be no end in sight to the bitter Apple vs Samsung rivalry. Not only are the two at war in the courts over alleged patent infringements, but they are battling it out for bigger slices of the smartphone and tablets markets.
And now, the competition looks set to extend to our wrists. No sooner did the rumours hot up that Apple is working on the iWatch but a new leak has emerged suggesting Samsung is working on a rival product.
Apparently called the Galaxy Altius, images of the new gizmo have been posted on a South Korean messageboard, which claims the pictures show screens from a forthcoming smart watch.
One of the photographs clearly shows the name Samsung Galaxy Altius while the others display a music player and clock, along with an email app. If genuine, they would suggest that the Galaxy Altius runs a modified version of the Google Android operating system.
At the moment, however, it is not clear where the images originally came from and, while they could be genuine, they could also be fakes or a mock-up from a project which has since been abandoned by Samsung.
Some analysts have already suggested the images are a hoax. A blogger on Samsung enthusiast site SamMobile wrote: “We are sure that Samsung is using the Altius codename for the upcoming Galaxy S IV and not a smartwatch. This and a few other reasons indicate that these screenshots might actually be a hoax.”
The Samsung images come after fresh leaks about a wrist-wearable version of Apple’s iPhone, which has inevitably been dubbed the iWatch.
While rumours of an iWatch are nothing new, the latest suggestions are that development of the gizmo is very advanced and it could be about to head towards production.
According to what Bloomberg are describing as reliable sources, a team of 100 Apple staff, with senior executives overseeing them, has been put together to work on the new gadget, which would imply that Apple has definitely moved on from any experimentation phase and decided to go ahead with the new product.
Apple’s new design is expected to let the watch link up wirelessly to a user’s iPhone, allowing wearers to access some features of the smartphone without having to remove it from their pocket or bag. According to the well-respected The New York Times, which said it had spoken with “people familiar with the company’s explorations”, Apple’s new watch could use Willow Glass, a new type of flexible glass, which would allow the timepiece to have a curved touchscreen.
It’s very clear, however, that Samsung won’t leave Apple with a wide open wrist-wearable market. As technology website techhive put it: “It can’t be denied that Samsung’s electronics strategy is to fill every niche in the market. So if a smart watch niche is emerging, you can bet your first born that Samsung will try to fill it… Samsung won’t sit idly by and concede the market to its arch competitor.”