Samsung Confirms 'Galaxy Gear' Watch Coming Sept. 4
Samsung has turned its back on yet another Apple business model—intensely shrouding in secrecy every new device. Samsung Executive President Lee Yong-hee, the same executive who confirmed that Samsung is indeed working on a smart watch, has confirmed that Samsung will unveil the watch Sept. 4 at an event in Berlin.
Lee told the Korea Times in an exclusive interview Aug. 26 that the watch will be named Galaxy Gear and, despite Samsung's advances in the area, that it won't feature a flexible display.
"The new device will enhance and enrich the current smart mobile experience in many ways" Lee said, according to the report. "It will lead a new trend in smart mobile communications. We are confident that the Gear will add meaningful momentum to the mobile industry."
Lee "hinted," according to the report, that future wearable products will take advantage of Samsung's flexible display technology. Samsung, it added, is "gearing up" to take on rivals in the wearables space, as the smartphone becomes more saturated.
(Earlier this month, Samsung launched a contest, looking for interesting users for its flexible display technology.
Lee also confirmed that Samsung will introduce the Galaxy International—a new phablet—at the IFA trade show in Berlin Sept. 6-11.
Samsung introduced the "phablet"—a category of large-screen devices that walk the line between smartphone and tablet—Lee said, and as the creator of the category, it plans to introduce customers to key new features with its upcoming Galaxy Note devices.
She also confirmed that Samsung has no interest in BlackBerry, which earlier this month announced it's open to partnerships or an acquisition.
The Apple-Samsung Rivalry Evolves
With the smartphone market in developed countries like the United States growing saturated, device makers are looking to innovate in other areas, such as tablets, wearables and other connected devices.
Samsung is already busy in the television space, and Apple is said to be working on a smart TV and accessories to go along with it.
Apple is also widely expected to be working on a smart watch.
In July, Apple filed to trademark the term "iWatch" in Japan, according to Reuters and The Wall Street Journal. More recently, Apple hired Jay Blahnik, a consultant who was a key player behind Nike's FuelBand—a bracelet that tracks a user's movement throughout the day—and who helped the brand to build a digital base behind the band of more than 6 million people.
At the AllThingsD conference in May, Apple CEO Tim Cook singled out the FuelBand as a rare example of a wearable done well, and said that he thought consumers would more easily take to wearing a watch-like product than glasses (which, of course, if the route rival Google has taken).
"The whole sensor field is going to explode," Cook said at the May event. "It's a little all over the place right now, but [with time] it will become clearer."
Caption Note: The watch in the image is the VEA Buddy.