With both Apple and Samsung said to be developing smart watches, it looks like the South Korean technology giant is set to steal a march on its Californian rival.
Samsung is set to be the first to release a new generation smart watch onto the market, with the official unveiling expected to take place on September 4.
Due to be called the Galaxy Gear, the smart watch will put in an appearance at the IFA consumer technology show in Berlin, along with Samsung’s new Galaxy Note III.
Users of the new smart watch device will be able to surf the web, check their emails, and make phone calls with their watch.
It seems to be a case of Samsung creating, and then solving a problem – all to its own financial benefit.
The Korean firm came in for heavy criticism when it launched its Note range – dubbed a phablet, because it is a cross between smartphone and tablet. Some claimed it was neither one thing nor the other, and so served no useful purpose.
But, phablets are now one of the world’s fastest growing technology trends, although those who use them do admit they are tricky to make phone calls with.
Now phablet owners won’t even have to remove their device from their bag or (large) pocket. They can simply use their new smart watch.
It is also sure to prove popular with fitness fans, who can use it as a tracking device to monitor activity levels on popular apps for running and cycling.
It’s not the first time Samsung has dipped its toes into the smart watch market though. It first produced such a gizmo in 1999, before following that with another attempt 10 years ago, and launching a third watch in 2009. Called the S9110, that watch came with a 1.76-inch touchscreen, 40MB of internal memory, a voice recognition system and the ability to sync emails.
Perhaps it was the price which put potential customers off that time round as it sold for nearly £400. Or maybe the time simply wasn’t right. But, whatever the reason, it failed to gain a significant foothold in the market.
Samsung will be hoping it is fourth time lucky for the Galaxy Gear. And, industry experts are certainly expecting big things from the smart watch market.
Analysts at Canalys believe sales of smart watches will rocket from the current 330,000 to five million in 2014. And Bloomberg is similarly optimistic, predicting success for smart watches which are tied into a ‘hardware ecosystem’ which would lock customers into certain platforms.
Apple, however, is sure to be snapping at Samsung’s heels. The iPhone maker is said to have 100 engineers working on its own smart watch.
But, unless Apple suddenly makes a surprise announcement, or we hear from Google’s Motorola unit in the next few days, Samsung is set to become the first major manufacturer to release a smart watch since Motorola’s Motoactv in 2011 and Sony’s Smartwarch range.