Samsung Confirms They Are Preparing Smart Wristwatch

Samsung Confirms They Are Preparing Smart Wristwatch
March 20 22:44 2013 Print This Article

A high-ranking Samsung executive has confirmed that his company is developing a smart wristwatch, in an apparent bid to race against Apple’s so-called iWatch, even if the Cupertino company has yet to validate such rumor.

“We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” Lee Young Hee, Samsung’s executive vice president in mobile business, said in an interview with Bloomberg in Seoul. “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.”

Lee has no comment on what features the upcoming smart wristwatch may have, as well as on pricing and availability details.

The disclosure comes after reports circulated about Apple’s alleged plans to develop a wristwatch-like device that has capabilities similar to the iPhone or iPad. In a world where smartphone sales are beginning to drop as “smartphone saturation” approaches, companies are looking for ways to recapture consumer attention with wearable devices.

Despite commanding a $358 billion global market, sales of smartphones are predicted to slow down as much as 9.8 percent by 2017 compared to 27 percent this year, based on Bloomberg’s research. Last quarter, Apple has recorded its slowest sales growth in more than two years. Meanwhile, Samsung has warned of slowing demand. This despite the South Korean company has overtaken Apple to become the world’s largest smartphone maker last year.

And it appears that smart wristwatches are the way of the future. With a $60 billion global watch industry, the first companies who could offer watches that multitask can lock in customers into their platforms, boosting sales of their own smartphones, tablets, and TVs in the process.

Analysts say it all boils down to which company provides the best price advantage. Samsung may be able to provide a smart wristwatch that is cheaper than Apple since the former manufactures its own displays and chips, while Apple remains reliant on suppliers from China and other countries.

“If I were Apple, I’d strategically price the watch as low as possible to bring as many as possible into the ecosystem,” says Laurence Balter, chief investment strategist at Oracle Investment Research in Washington state. “Samsung is going to be there for many years to come and try to cut them off.”

Source: Bloomberg

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