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 & Style blogs
Astrological signs are almost all wrong, as movement of moon and sun throws out zodiac
Professional wine tasters putting teeth at risk, study finds
NHS property sale could raise £7.5bn to help pay off its growing deficit and free up space for housing
Clocks change: how to make sure iPhone and smartphones automatically ‘spring forward’
Gay marriage, one year on: Couples mark first anniversary of same-sex marriages
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking to find a...
£21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...