Will Samsung beat Apple in the race to the wrist?

So when did wristwatches suddenly become the cat’s meow?

Just when I figured watches were in their dying days, replaced by, oh I don’t know, how about the watch on the face of that smartphone you now carry in your hand every waking moment, word comes that Samsung is planning to unveil its latest bit of wearable tech in September.

A report in the New York Times suggests that Apple’s arch-rival may beat it to the smartwatch finish gate before the Cupertino tech giant is able to launch its own iWatch, as it reportedly is planning to do this year. The Samsung watch will be able to “make phone calls, play video games and send e-mails, potentially beating Apple to market with a piece of technology that moves mobile communications beyond the smartphone,” says the report.

It will be called Samsung Galaxy Gear and the Times report says it’ll be introduced “around the time of an electronics industry trade fair in Berlin that begins Sept. 6,” according to “a person briefed on the matter.”

So it should be a busy fall for the world’s tech giants, smartwatch-wise. The report quotes “a person with knowledge of the unveiling” this way:  “The commercial launch will definitely be this year.”

Short and sweet.

 

For Samsung, the idea is also not entirely new. The company introduced its first watch phone in 1999. Still, the category of smart watches remains underdeveloped, as none of the existing devices have captured the imagination of consumers.

But analysts say that could change now that the two biggest smartphone makers, Samsung and Apple, are getting into the watch business.

 

And again, like I said before, how the heck did wristwatches, even if they’re smart ones, get so dang popular all of a sudden? Listen to this:

Canalys, a research firm, predicts that sales of smart watches will rise to five million in 2014, a tenfold increase from this year.

 

Credit: Gizmag.com

 

 

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  • steve hammill

    >>>sales of smart watches will rise to five million in 2014

    Does this mean…

    *** Tech Consumers long for Dick Tracy toys?
    *** Marketing is doing a bang-up job?
    *** Tech Consumers are sheeple with far too much money?

    My vote is that Tech Consumers are sheeple educated far beyond their intelligence.

    I know, I know…that’s impossible! But look at our society and tell me that it’s not true. 🙂

    • I think you may be on to something, Steve.

  • Does anyone remember the wristwatch pager from about 1991? Motorola released it and it never caught on. Died with a thud. Expect this to do the same.

    This was a deal where marketing and product dev types ran around asking what people though of a pager wrist watch. Everyone said, “cool.” Then when it came out the same people said it was too ugly and too big.

    I was in the pager business back then and wore one for a while. It was big and clunky and fundamentally silly. It was too big to be a watch and too small to be a useful pager. Expect the same problems with the phone only worse.

    Anyway… my smartphone already IS my wristwatch – only it’s on my belt.

    Also agree with Steve Hammill’s remarks about the inteligence of sheeple.

  • I remember the naysayers coming out in droves when the first smartphone (Palm Treo) and then iPhones were introduced. Then the same with the iPad. Now tablets are eating PC sales.

    This is what will happen – within 4 years, wristphones will take a major proportion of existing slab smartphone volume.

    It’s really simple – carrying a slab phone is a real pain. you drop them. They fall out of your pocket or bag. They get lost. It’s another thing you have to carry around. People don’t realize it yet, but they are a real inconvenience. You simply replace your slabphone with a wristphone.

    When it is possible to wear one around your wrist – and this is important – you can do the same things that you can with a normal phone, it will make absolute sense, and this is NOTHING to do with fashion or “sheeple”. It will become the accepted practicality.

    Of course, Apple will introduce one that looks fashionable, whereas Samsung will probably launch what will look like a flat phone on your wrist.

  • sd

    The iPod-nano-on-a-wristband idea never caught on, either. I don’t know if that’s whether it was the esthetics (it was ungainly) or whether it just wasn’t functional enough to be worthy of that much body real estate. AFAIC, a watch is just one more thing to carry around. I do remember old-school watches being replaced because they were whacked one too many times or dunked in water inadvertantly; I can’t see how being a phone avoids those fates any. But there is a trend to wear stonkin’ large watches as a form of post-hip irony, and there are people who will go to great lengths to look avant garde technologically. So both Samsung and Apple may have hits on their hands.

    • “AFAIC, a watch is just one more thing to carry around.”

      You have it entirely the wrong way round. It’s the slabphone that will become the excess baggage.

      It’s high time a really well designed functional wearable phone with all its existing functions was available in wristwatch format, absolutely the next step.

 
 
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