Samsung’s smart watch will receive a Sept. 4 introduction and be called—or fall under a product category called—Galaxy Gear, Bloomberg reported Aug. 16, citing people familiar with the matter.
The timing would put all eyes on Samsung at the IFA consumer electronics show, which will open in Berlin Sept. 6.
On Sept. 10, it’s rumored that Apple will host an event to show off its new iPhones. Apple is expected to introduce a high-end iPhone 5S with a thinner chassis and built-in fingerprint reader and a lower-end, colored plastic iPhone 5C, for developing markets and particularly China.
Samsung confirmed March 19 that it had a watch in the works.
“We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, told Bloomberg during an interview 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.”
It’s rumored that Apple is also working on a watch. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both reported in February that Apple had partnered with Foxconn, the company that puts together its iPhones and iPads, to build an iOS-running watch with a 1.5-inch organic LED display that can communicate with the iPad, the iPhone and other devices.
According to the reports, Apple had a team of at least 100 people working on the watch.
The Apple rumor pile also includes the iRing—an accessory that Topeka Capital analyst Brian White has told investors will control Apple’s “iTV,” yet another rumored Apple device.
Wearable computing was given a boost by Tik-Tok and other designers who created bands to turn the Apple iPod nano into a wristwatch, the Pebble smartwatch and later Google Glass.
Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai, who oversees Android and Chrome, told attendees at an AllThingsD event in May that Google is paying close attention to where computing is going in the next five to ten years.
“People are going to be wearing watches, we have Glass, sensors are being added to these devices and users are increasingly spending money and adopting them—if you go to Korea and see flexible displays in factories, it’s amazing,” said Pichai.
Juniper Research has forecast that smart wearable device sales will reach 70 million in 2017, up from sales of 15 million devices in 2013.
The next-generation wearables market, including smart glasses, will be worth more than $1.5 billion by 2014, according to Juniper, up from $800 million in 2013.