Watch it – the battle for your wrist just got hotter.
Even as rumours about Apple’s iWatch remain just that – rumours – arch-rival Samsung has decided to steal its thunder by announcing a watch of its own.
And to dodge accusations of blindly following Apple wherever it chooses to tread, the South Korean firm has reiterated that it has been planning the device for a while now.
“We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” said Samsung mobile VP Lee Young Hee in an interview with Bloomberg. “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.”
In fact, Samsung’s claims of working on the watch for a long time do hold water. Unwired View has uncovered a decade old patent that Samsung wrested for the watch/phone combo. The patent in question was filed for in 1999, and granted to Samsung in 2003.
Earlier this week, Emirates 24|7 reported the unveiling of the world’s first Bluetooth watch, which acts as a mini display-cum-remote control for Bluetooth-enabled smartphones.
Now, with this latest salvo being fired by Samsung, time seems to be running out for Apple, whose iWatch has been a topic od much speculation in the past few years, with mock designs and specs being bandied about online without any signs of the actual device.
And the Samsung executive made it very clear that the company was rushing ahead to beat Apple’s rumoured product. Hee told the newswire that, between Samsung and Apple, the “issue here is who will first commercialise it so consumers can use it meaningfully.”
The big question, however, remains that if Samsung has not been able to ‘meaningfully commercialise’ its patents for about 15 years, what will it take for it to do so now? The launch of the Apple iWatch, perhaps?
Indeed, rumours about a ‘wearable iPhone’ gained media attention earlier this year when, on February 10, NYT blogged about it as a curved glass device that come straight out of sci-fi comics and James Bond movies.
Of course, wearable computing is set to be the next big thing in mobile computing, and the iWatch has the potential to do for Apple what the iPhone once did. That is, unless Samsung comes out with it first.
Will the Samsung Watch beat Apple’s iWatch? Only time will tell (sorry, we just couldn’t resist the temptation).