Samsung Prepares to Take on Apple in New SmartWatch Category

Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013 03:32 PM

By Cyrus Afzali

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The wrist looks to be the next battleground for technology dominance, as Samsung is preparing a device that will compete directly with Apple’s new watch-like product that will function much like a smartphone.

Lee Young Hee, Samsung’s executive vice president of mobile, told Bloomberg News the company is working hard to get ready for a new watch launch.

“We are preparing products for the future and the watch is definitely one of them,” he said.

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Lee would not comment on the products features, nor would he divulge its price or anticipated launch date. Confirmation of the watch’s development comes a week after Samsung launched the Galaxy S IV smartphone, the highly-anticipated follow-up to the Galaxy SIII. The SIII was the main reason Samsung late last year became the world’s largest smartphone maker.

Both Apple and Samsung are developing new products as the global market for smartphones approaches saturation. By 2017, the annual growth in smartphone sales is expected to slow to 9.8 percent from the 27 percent growth expected this year. Apple reported its slowest sales growth in more than two years last quarter and Samsung said in January its smartphone demand was slowing as well.

While Samsung has yet to discuss the features in its forthcoming device, Apple has said it is considering allowing users to make calls and to see the identity and location of incoming callers. It is also expected to have a pedometer and a heart rate monitor, which would potentially make it popular for walkers and runners.

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