Smartwatches have been around for the last decade, but they have failed to gain any real attention until recently. The Kickstarter-backed Pebble generated massive hype, as have rumored devices from Apple, Google, Samsung, LG and Microsoft. Market research firm ABI Research is now predicting that 2013 could be a breakout year for smartwatches with more than 1.2 million devices expected to ship. More →
Microsoft has become the latest major consumer electronics company to see its plans for a smartwatch leak ahead of any official announcement. While Samsung remains the only company to publicly confirm that it is working on a next-generation smartwatch, half a dozen different news organizations have reported various details surrounding an imminent “iWatch” from Apple that may launch later this year. Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft is also toying with the idea of launching its own smartwatch, and it is working with partners in the Far East to source components. The report provides no other details, though it notes that Microsoft does not currently have firm plans to launch the device, so it may never see the light of day.
Whether or not you subscribe to the school of thought suggesting Samsung’s (005930) meteoric rise has been fueled in large part by unabashed copying of Apple (AAPL) products, there is certainly evidence to support the idea that Apple’s iPhone and iPad have inspired Samsung’s most popular devices. Count TheStreet’s Ernie Varitimos among those who believe Samsung’s success is due in large part to mobile devices that are “direct knock-offs” of Apple products, but he thinks Apple is now getting ready to make a move that Samsung will find impossible to copy. More →
A number of solid reports have suggested that Apple is developing a smartwatch as it searches for new revenue streams in the increasingly competitive mobile market. While initial claims suggested the “iWatch” was still in the early stages of its development, some reports have pointed to a 2013 launch and now new evidence supporting that timeframe has emerged. More →
Not one to be left out, a new report suggests LG (066570) will also be building a smartwatch to compete with rumored offerings from Apple (AAPL), Samsung (005930) and Google (GOOG). According to The Korea Times, LG is developing a next-generation watch, along with another “innovative smart product” similar to Google Glass. The company believes that smartwatches are the next “must-have” devices and is interested in staying ahead of the technology curve. LG’s watch is rumored to be powered by Android, although it is speculated that it could run Mozilla’s Firefox OS. The latest rumors claim that Apple and Google are developing smartwatches, while Samsung’s mobile boss confirmed the company is also working on a connected watch that will launch later this year.
Samsung (005930) already confirmed that it is working on a smartwatch to take on Apple’s (AAPL) still mythical “iWatch,” and now a new report suggests that Google (GOOG) is also hard at work on its own wearable Android device. The Financial Times on Thursday evening cited a single unnamed source in claiming that Google has a smartwatch in development. The company’s Android team is reported spearheading the project, which will apparently yield a smartphone companion similar to Samsung and Apple’s efforts rather than a connected device. No launch timing or additional details about the device were reported.
It’s not every day an executive at a major public technology company will go on record and confirm an unannounced product, but Samsung’s (005930) mobile boss seemed happy to be the exception to the rule on Tuesday. Speaking with Bloomberg, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business Lee Young Hee confirmed that Samsung is developing a smartwatch to take on the unannounced “iWatch” that Apple (AAPL) is reportedly developing. More →
Apple (AAPL) plans to debut its much rumored smartwatch later this year, according to a new report. Bloomberg on Monday issued a claim that the so-called “iWatch” could pose a larger revenue opportunity than the HDTV Apple has supposedly been working on for years. The report suggests that Apple hopes to launch the device later this year and is considering a variety of functionality such as voice calling, mapping features and the ability to display notifications from the user’s phone on the watch’s display. The report claims Apple’s iWatch will also include pedometer features, and it may even monitor the wearer’s heart rate.
Apple (AAPL) has always been known for its trend-setting designs, but it looks like an early sketch of its long-rumored “iWatch” took a page from a long-forgotten fad from the early ’90s. Patently Apple has some good analysis of a 2011 patent filing that shows Apple has been working on a wristwatch that is essentially “a slap bracelet configured to display information wirelessly transmitted from a portable electronic device.” More →
Let’s be honest — an Apple (AAPL) wristwatch doesn’t at first glance sound like the most exciting product the company has come up with over the past decade. But if past patent filings are any indication, the long-rumored ‘iWatch’ could be much more interesting than some might think since they could help make the classic wristwatch work a lot more like an iPod. Researcher Nickolay Lamm, best known for his pre-release renders of the iPad mini and his futuristic iPhone design concepts, passed along some new renders showing what an iWatch could look like if Apple chooses to incorporate some key design elements from some of its older patent filings. More →
As rumors surrounding Apple’s (AAPL) supposed “iWatch” continue to swirl, one market research firm believes the fitness watch industry will see explosive growth this year even without an offering from Apple. ABI Research recently released a new report stating that the “GPS fitness watch” market will balloon in 2013 as sales reach $1.07 billion this year. The figure would represent 50% growth by ABI’s estimates. More →
Recent reports suggest that Samsung is preparing to launch a Galaxy Watch as rival Apple’s reportedly prepares its own “iWatch.” Little is known about the device, although it may be released in the coming months. Now, purported screenshots of the watch’s interface surfaced on Thursday leading to more speculation that Samsung (005930) is prepared to enter the smartwatch market. The images originated on a Korean message board and they refer to the device by the codename “Galaxy Altius.” More →
The Pebble smartwatch has been a great success story for a small startup that launched a Kickstarter campaign last year. Pebble ended up breaking records when it raised more than $10 million on the crowd-funding site and it finally began shipping to customers late last month. The smartwatch features some nice iPhone integration out of the box, but a new jailbreak hack released by developer Conrad Kramer allows all notifications to be displayed on the watch’s E Ink screen instead of just notifications for native Apple (AAPL) apps like Messages, Mail and Phone, and a few third-party apps. The “BTNotificationEnabler” tweak is available right now for free in Cydia, the jailbreak equivalent of Apple’s App Store.