If you had to make a choice – would you pick a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note III… or a brand new, first-of-it’s-kind Samsung smartwatch?
Or maybe both?
That may be the decision facing Samsung fans soon.
Samsung Electronics, the multinational South Korean conglomerate, is set to unveil the “Galaxy Gear” smartwatch next month.
According to reports from SamMobile.com, the Gear will be announced at Samsung’s Unpacked Episode 2 event alongside the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy Note III, the third iteration of the increasingly popular (and gigantic) phone/tablet (phablet) offering from Samsung.
The Galaxy Gear is expected to be a sort of hybrid device, mixing features commonly attributed to smartphones with characteristics from the new (ish) smartwatch device category.
The Galaxy Gear is rumored to have a 1.67 inch AMOLED display as well as an inbuilt camera, Bluetooth chip, and an NFC chip to support mobile payments.
The watch is also said to be running a version of Google’s Android operating system allowing it to work in tandem with Samsung’s “Galaxy” series of smartphones and, supposedly, allowing wearers to view (and possibly respond to) texts and respond to (and hopefully make) phone calls.
The announcement of the Galaxy Gear has preempted that of the long rumored “iWatch”, one of Apple’s supposed entries into the smart device market.
Apple, unlike Samsung, has been playing their cards very close to the chest with very few leaks about their device reaching the press. We will have to wait see which strategy, Samsung’s or Apple’s, ultimately pays off when both devices have been released next year.
The Gear has more than Apple to watch out for as another Android powered smartwatch, the kickstarter funded Pebble, has already been released to market and has gained what some would call a huge cult following.
The Pebble, unlike either the Gear or the yet to be announced iWatch, is compatible with both the Android and IOS operating systems allowing wearers to sync up (through Bluetooth) to virtually any smartphone (apart from windows phone). Microsoft has also been rumored to be developing a similar device but, like Apple, most of the information surrounding the device is purely speculative.
What is clear, from analyzing current market trends, is that the explosive growth of the smartphone/tablet (more so for smartphones than tables) market is slowly coming to halt and approaching an era of saturation (more than 50% of individuals now own a smartphone).
All of the major players (in the consumer tech industry) have, of course, come to this realization and seem banking on wearable tech to be the growth industry of the future. Similar to the smartphone boom, we can be sure to expect, sooner rather than later, to be bombarded with offerings from virtually every electronics company looking to cash in on this budding industry (which is great news for us!).