Samsung has confirmed to Bloomberg the rumors that it’s working on a smartwatch to rival the widely-speculated Apple iWatch.
Known for being a ‘fast follower’, a company that, er, watches what others do and aims to quickly launch a competitive product, Samsung appears to be following Apple’s lead in revealing nothing at all about the device: no feature-list, no visuals, no price, no launch-date. Samsung’s executive vice president of mobile business Lee Young Hee said only: “We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long. 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.” Thanks for that, Samsung.
The alleged screenshots that appeared last month on Slashgear suggested a 500×500-pixel touchscreen device running a new operating system supposedly named AltiusOS.
The smartwatch market is estimated to be worth $60 billion a year. Just to put that in perspective, that’s about 16 percent of the $358 billion handset market. Marshal Cohen, an analyst at NPD Group in Port Washington, told Bloomberg: “We’re going to see formidable competition coming from many different directions — from device makers, accessory makers, even fashion designers.”
Laurence Balter, chief investment strategist at Oracle Investment Research, said he believed Apple’s strategy should be to use the iWatch as an affordable entry into the Apple ecosystem, generating sales for its more expensive products. “If I were Apple, I’d strategically price the watch as low as possible to bring as many as possible into the ecosystem,” he said.
It’s expected that most smart watches will follow Pebble’s lead in making the device a Bluetooth accessory to a phone and not a standalone gadget, but there has been speculation that the iWatch will run iOS, potentially allowing it to perform useful functions without a link to an iPhone.