Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch 'confirmed' for release on 4 September

Android-powered device will be launched alongside updated Samsung Galaxy Note phablet

Samsung will be launching an Android-powered smartwatch named the Galaxy Gear next month, according to reports from Bloomberg.

The device is expected to be released on 4 September, and will be able to surf the internet, access emails, as well as make phone calls. It’s expected that the Galaxy Gear will be announced alongside the forthcoming Galaxy Note III at an event in Berlin.

So far it seems that the Gear will act as a companion device rather than a fully-fledged replacement for phones; a decision that might be especially beneficial for phablet owners.

Using a device with a large screen when out and about can be difficult - thus LG’s decision to place buttons on the back of its latest device.  Having a smartwatch to field incoming calls and emails and a phablet to use when sat down might represent a new paradigm for mobile computers, at least for a small section of the market.

Samsung produced its first smartwatch back in 1999 (below), following it up with a second ‘push-button’ attempt in 2003 and a third device launched in 2009 (top picture). This device, the S9110, had a 1.76-inch touchscreen, 40MB of internal memory, voice recognition and the capacity to sync email. It sold for €450 but failed to gain a foothold in the market.

Samsung's 1999 Smartwatch, the SPH-WP10 came with 90 minutes talk time, and integrated speaker and antenna (common to phones at the time).

Despite the current vogue for smartwatches (pretty much every major tech manufacturer you can think of is building one) it’s still not certain that the devices will be a success. Industry analysts Canalys are predicting that sales of the devices will shoot up, from 330,000 currently, to five million in 2014.

Bloomberg are similarly bullish, predicting that “the global watch industry will generate more than $60 billion in sales”, and pointing out that a successful smartwatch that tied into a ‘hardware ecosystem’ could lock customers to a specific platform.

But apart from access to the internet, emails, calls and texts, the main draw of a smartwatch will be as a tracking device – offering various statistics that monitor the users’ fitness . And with many popular hardware options already offering these services (the Jawbone Up, the Fitbit Flex, the Nike+ Fuelband) the market is already fragmented.

Sony’s SmartWatch has so far underperformed, but this might be because the company lacks a popular smartphone to pair it with. Apple's forthcoming iWatch is supposedly facing difficulties in design, so Samsung will be the first major company to offer both watch and phone.Their success (or failure) will say a lot about the future of the industry.

A mock-up of what a possible iWatch might look like.  

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Developer - HTML, CSS, Javascript

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine