Last month, leaked screenshots revealed that Samsung was also working on a smartwatch. Bloomberg now reports that Samsung has confirmed that it is indeed working on a smartwatch.
We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, said 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.”
Lee had no comment on what features the watch may have, how much it would cost and when it would go on sale.
Here’s what we had written about Samsung’s smartwatch based on the leaked screenshots:
The screenshots measure 500 x 500 pixels, which could very well be the screen resolution of the watch, and has 235 MB of internal storage. Based on the images, the watch would feature apps for music, mail/messages, a clock and what appears to be a maps icon. These icons are laid out in the form of tiles in a horizontal grid. The device is connected to Korean carrier SKTelecom’s cellular network, and is also on a Wi-Fi network, as seen in the status bar.
It’s not clear if the watch is running Android or one of Samsung’s in-house OS, nor is it known if the device will be positioned as a standalone smartwatch or would rely on a smartphone for its “smartness.”
The report notes that Samsung will be able to undercut Apple on the price because the Korean company makes its own displays and chips, which will probably be the most expensive components of the smartwatch.
Last month, Bloomberg had reported that according to their sources, Apple has a team of about 100 product designers working on the iWatch.
A smartwatch obviously has a lot of potential for integration with Apple’s pretty strong iOS and Mac ecosystem. Siri, Passbook, Bluetooth 4.0, iMessage, Notification Center, all are possible avenues for making the Apple ecosystem even stronger. There is definitely demand for Bluetooth enabled smart watches that connect to smartphones like the iPhone based on the success of Pebble – e-paper watch, which raised over $10 million on Kickstarter.
It will be interesting to see who brings the smartwatch to the market first.