August 16, 2013
Samsung To Best Apple With September Release Of Smartwatch
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Samsung will unveil its Galaxy Gear smartwatch next month at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, according to Bloomberg.
Samsung confirmed the existence of a smartwatch in March when an executive claimed the device would be arriving sometime in the future. Last week patent filings attached a name to the device; the Galaxy Gear, as it will be called, ties the watch into Samsung’s existing line of products, which includes smartphones, tablets, and mashup devices in between the two.
As major competitors of Apple, this news has led many to claim Samsung is “beating” Apple to the punch by releasing the Galaxy Gear next month, six days before a presumed iPhone announcement.
Bloomberg claims the Galaxy Gear will run Google’s Android operating system, the same platform used by Samsung for its other Galaxy devices.
Samsung’s co-CEO, however, has recently been touting Samsung’s own operating system, Tizen, as an alternative to Android.
In an interview with Cnet, J.K Shin said he envisions a future where all Samsung devices run on Tizen.
In today’s Bloomberg report it’s suggested that Samsung still has two more high-end handsets to release this year, one of which will operate on Tizen. So far it has released three Galaxy S4s alone.
Analysts and other industry watchers have high hopes for the emerging wearable computing market and predict it could earn device makers like Apple and Samsung an estimated $60 billion this year. It’s said these devices will help smartphone makers maintain profitability due to an alleged saturation of the handheld market.
Bloomberg also claims the first iteration of the Galaxy Gear will not have a flexible display. Samsung has been showing off its progress in this area for several years but has yet to release a product with this kind of technology.
Rumors of Apple’s iWatch have been picking up steam over the past year as well. Patent filings about this product describe a wearable device with a flexible display that wraps completely around the wrist like a slap bracelet. Recent reports claim Apple is taking an “aggressive” approach toward the rumored smartwatch, hiring plenty of new talent in hopes that it will be ready to launch by a self-appointed deadline of 2014.
The Cupertino, California-based company is now said to have some 100 designers working on the project in addition to several dozen engineers. One such employee, former Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve, has been tasked to work on “special projects” for Apple that many believe to mean the rumored iWatch.
A recent report from the Financial Times also claims that CEO Tim Cook is eager to keep these iWatch engineers and designers on board until they can ship the new product.
One senior member is also said to have wanted to leave the company in the middle of the project, but was offered a large pay increase to stay.