As rumors continue to fly about Apple’s upcoming iWatch, there is now substantial evidence that a Samsung smartwatch is also on the horizon. Wearable technology is a growing trend in 2013, and after the success of the Pebble watch both Apple and Samsung are looking to capitalize on the burgeoning smartwatch market. According to Citigroup, the annual watch industry generates over $60 billion in sales – a significant market for both Samsung and Apple to tap in to.
Samsung Smartwatch – What We Know So Far
During a recent interview with Bloomberg in Seoul, Samsung’s VP of mobile business Lee Young-hee admitted that a Samsung Smartwatch was definitely in the pipeline: “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 Young-hee did not divulge any of the details or features of the Samsung Smartwatch, he stated that the Korean electronic giant had been “preparing the watch product for so long.”
Adding further credence to the rumors, screenshots have appeared via Korean message-board Ruliweb that appear to show the interface of the Samsung Smartwatch. The project is codenamed Altius and the screens demonstrate several features including music, email and other apps with a Windows-esque tile-based OS. According to SlashGear, the screenshots from the Samsung Smartwatch are 500×500 pixels which may give an indicate that this is the resolution of the watch display.
It’s unclear at this point whether the Samsung Smartwatch will be a standalone product or will be complementary to an Android-enabled smartphone, with communication via bluetooth.
Apple iWatch Rumors Building
With the growth of the smartphone market slowing, it’s no surprise that both Apple and Samsung are looking to other devices for new opportunities to build their bottom line. Samsung’s Hee was up-front during his recent interview about the coming smartwatch battle between Apple and Samsung, acknowledging that the “issue here is who will first commercialize it so consumers can use it meaningfully.”
The existence of the Apple iWatch seems almost certain after it was all but confirmed by both the NYTimes and Bloombergearlier this year. According to the reports, there is a 100-strong team at Apple under the direction of design chief Jony Ive working on the new smartwatch. Expected features of the Apple iWatch included the ability for users to make calls from the watch, see the identity of incoming callers, check map coordinates as well as fitness-related functions such as a built-in pedometer and heart rate monitor.
The Apple iWatch will reportedly run on a full version of iOS, rather than a pared-down iPod Nano-style OS.
Apple are yet to announce the existence of the iWatch, but the company is widely expected to unveil the product before years end.
Are you looking forward to the release of the Samsung Smartwatch or the Apple iWatch? Would you buy one? What features are you hoping to see? Let us know in the comments.