If you thought Apple’s iWatch rumors were all the craze, better think again. Only a few days ago, Samsung officially confirmed that they are working on a smart watch of some sort, presumably to catch up – if not intercept the solution from the Cupertino company, which again allegedly hired some hundred designers just for that purpose. The global watch industry, however (un)related to this, is going to make more than 60 billion USD in sales, in this year only so it is not that much of a surprise that everyone is after the “next big thing” there. “The race is on to redesign the mobile phone into something that you wear. We are going to see formidable competition coming from many different directions – from device makers, accessory makers, even fashion designers,”
said an analyst at NPD Group in New York, Marshal Cohen. And so it begins: in a brief moment of time, rumors of a smart watch by Google, LG - and who knows how many others - caught the attention of the media - and consumers. Interestingly enough, Samsung remains the only company that made the existence of the plans public.
Samsung’s Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of company’s mobile business stated that they have spent much time preparing for this product. “We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing product for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them,”
he noted. Obviously, Apple was not the only company that recognized this space, and according to the people familiar with the matter – we shall see their product in this year already, regardless of the fact that no plans were made public yet.
According to the sources known to The Financial Times, Google already filed a patent application for such a device back in 2011, and the device itself is described as having a dual-screen and interactive user interface (something similar to Google Glass, perhaps?). Then there is LG Electronics, supposedly, “joining the competition between Apple and Samsung who are making theirs.”
The Korea Times have a source who noted that “the company has spared no efforts to invest in products that it believes are must-haves to stay ahead technology wise in the market, whatever the situation may be. LG recognizes that it is always important to develop products for the future.”
An industry official not affiliated with LG stated for The Korea Times that rumors and previous releases of products similar to this have been more oriented on creation of the continuous interest rather than an actual product release, and that the market must be mature enough and with strong demand if it is to accept these products. “Samsung and LG have an upper hand in that they control most of the needed parts for a product like smart wristwatches,”
he added. Both Apple and Google are to some extent reliant on the Korean and Japanese part suppliers. There is no much doubt that the future of these devices is “clear” – but question remains when the market will be ready to accept them.
While we are at this topic, it is certainly worth noting that Samsung (among others) previously had ideas that were fairly close to the concept of the smart watch. For instance, in 2009, they introduced the S9110 watch with a 1.76” TFT capacitive touch screen and (feature) phone capabilities, and ten years earlier, they presented the SPH-W10, the first world’s watch-phone. Buzz is certainly not going away any time soon, and once more details emerge - we will provide you with fresh information.
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