Samsung is about to compete with an Apple product that only exists in rumours: Yes, we are referring to the iWatch. Bloomberg has obtained information which claims the South Korean manufacturer is developing a wrist watch to “create a new industry of wearable devices that perform similar tasks as smartphones.”
“We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, said during an interview in Seoul. “We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.”
While the executive couldn’t officially share the features the smart wrist watch will have, or pricing info or release date, he did say that the company is about to switch to Tizen with one of the three high-end smartphones it is planning to release this calendar year.
The news comes at the height of earlier speculation regarding a picture leak of what the source claims to be a Samsung smartwatch.
In addition, Bloomberg got inside information earlier this year that reinforced earlier rumours of an iWatch. Its sources claim Apple has a team of designers working on a smart wristwatch project, which is expected to perform similar functions to the iPhone and iPad. The monetary background is that the global watch industry will generate more than $60 billion in sales this year alone, much more than the television industry is projected to generate.
“The race is on to redesign the mobile phone into something that you wear,” said Marshal Cohen, an analyst at NPD Group in Port Washington, New York. “We’re going to see formidable competition coming from many different directions — from device makers, accessory makers, even fashion designers.”
From what we’ve learned so far — beside the smartphone saturation — Apple is projected to release its smartwatch as early as this year with expected features such as place a call, caller ID, checking map coordinates, pedometer for counting steps, and sensors for monitoring health-related data, the inside source said to Bloomberg.
The only remaining question is: Will Samsung wait for Apple to launch its product, or it will try to define an industry on its own?