Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Rumors of Apple’s plans to release a smartwatch that works with the iPhone have been well reported, but now Samsung has said it is developing a watch of its own.
In a recent interview, Samsung’s Lee Young Hee told Bloomberg News, “We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long.”
Hee, the executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, said, “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.”
Hee wasn’t forthcoming about any details concerning its watch project. When reached by ABC News, Samsung said, “We are constantly exploring new technologies and developing various form factors.”
Samsung did offer a glimpse into its newest S Health wearable fitness products at its March 14 Samsung Unpacked event, where it unveiled its new Galaxy S4 smartphone. Like the Nike+ FuelBand or Jawbone Up, the S Band wraps around your wrist, measures activity and steps taken and then connects to a smartphone app so you can monitor your progress.
This also wouldn’t be the first time Samsung tried to make a watch with phone capabilities. In 2009, Samsung released the S9110, a “watchphone.” The touchscreen-equipped watch allowed you to dial a number or see email alerts. It was released only in a few countries.
But since 2009, other companies have figured out how to make solid smartwatches. Pebble, the smartwatch that works with the iPhone and Android, beat all the odds on Kickstarter, receiving more than 85,000 orders for the watch and more than $10 million from people who wanted to back the company.
Apple also might be looking at that market demand for a wearable product. A team of 100 people under Apple’s Senior VP of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive are reportedly working on a watch-like device that runs a version of iOS, the operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad. The speculation is that the watch would feature connectivity to other Apple devices to receive messages or call notifications and possibly report health information like step-counting.
The war between Apple and Samsung continues to heat up as Samsung’s Galaxy S4 hits the market. Following Samsung’s big Android smartphone launch Thursday night, Apple responded with new marketing to remind buyers of its popular iPhone.
Apple’s VP of marketing also attacked Android in two media interviews.