Samsung gearing up for September 4 smartwatch launch
The South Korean company has confirmed that the Samsung Gear will be officially unveiled ahead of the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Germany.
According to an interview with Samsung Executive Vice President of Mobile, Lee Young-hee published in the Korea Times on Tuesday, the watch will indeed be called the Gear, will enhance rather than replace the smartphone and that, in its current iteration at least, will not have a flexible display.
Lee Young-hee also said that the device will be aimed squarely at young trendsetters and described the product as a "wearable concept device."
A detailed report on the state of the smartwatch market also published Tuesday by Juniper Research claims that the future success of the sector would rely in part on the attention and publicity Samsung's and Apple's entry into the market will generate.
However, it also stresses that unless the devices these tech powerhouses produce do more than simply mirror alerts and settings gleaned from a tethered smartphone, then the smartwatch will remain a very limited and very niche product.
Even if companies manage to innovate in the space, smartwatch shipments are only expected to hit 36 million units by 2018 (up considerably from this year's expected 1 million).
The Samsung Galaxy Gear is expected to boast a 2.5-inch touch sensitive display, pair with a device via Bluetooth 4.0 for optimum power saving and, although it will use the Android operating system, will only work with other Samsung devices.
Interestingly, at the same event, Samsung will also be taking the wraps off its latest flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note III.
Some tech journalists have suggested that unlike a normal-sized smartphone, whipping a 6-inch phablet out of a pocket or bag every time it rings is not at all simple, meaning that being able to verify an alert, or to skip or pause a track via a wrist-worn counterpart, would be a benefit worth considering.
The IFA event runs September 6-11, press days are September 4 and 5. – AFP/Relaxnews, August 28, 2013.