SAMSUNG is to introduce a “smart watch” next month that can make phone calls, surf the Web and handle e-mails.
The Galaxy Gear, as it will be called, will be powered by Google’s Android operating system and go on sale this year to beat a potentially competing product from Apple, Bloomberg reported.
The device will be unveiled September 4, according to company sources.
Asia’s biggest technology company is racing other electronics makers, including Apple and Sony to create a new industry of wearable devices as the market for top-end handsets nears saturation.
About $60bn (€45bn) worth of watches were sold so far this year and as smartphones apparently reach the limits of their capability for now, electronics firms are looking for other ways to drive sales.
If Samsung can successfully sell a smart watch, it could lock customers into their software, boosting sales of smartphones, tablets and TVs.
While industry experts believe “wearable devices” as they are called will eventually have a flexible screen that can be adjusted to fit different surfaces or wrists, the Galaxy Gear is expected to have rigid design for now.
It will be unveiled the same day as Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, a combination smartphone and tablet computer.
Apple has a team of about 100 designers working on watch-like device. The Cupertino, California-based company is seeking to introduce its device this year.
If Samsung does launch its smart watch on September 4, it will put huge pressure on Apple chief executive Tim Cook to produce a device with at least the same specifications six days later when his company reveals its new line of products.
Apple is expected to show off a new iPhone and iPad at a developers event on September 10, but rumours persist the company could announce its own smartwatch or Apple TV on the same day.