updated 06:48 am EDT, Tue March 19, 2013
Samsung exec admits smartwatch deep in development
Samsung is racing to get its smartwatch to market ahead of the anticipated equivalent device from Apple, reports Bloomberg. According to the executive vice president of Samsung's mobile business, Lee Young Hee, the Korean company has been working on the device for some time and is working hard to get it out the door. Smartwatches, along with wearable devices generally, are considered by some observers to be the next major growth segment in the mobile space and both Samsung and Apple are keen to tap into as soon as possible.
"We've been preparing the watch product for so long," Lee Young Hee told 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," he enthused.
Screenshots said to be from Samsung's smartwatch first surfaced in February. They revealed a monochrome tile-based UI that was Wi-Fi-enabled, and possibly even capable of making calls directly from the watch itself. The beta software also carried the label AltiusOS beta 2, which could also be indicative of its marketing name. In addition to quick access to time and date functions, naturally, users appear to be able to control music playback and get a quick look at notifications all from the 500x500 homescreen.
Although nothing has been leaked from Apple's purported smartwatch project in terms of screenshots or leaked images, numerous reliable sources point to Apple countering with its own smartwatch. An earlier report by Bloomberg indicated that Apple's smartwatch team is at least 100 strong and staffed by top engineers, product managers and people from the marketing team. The Apple iWatch isn't expected to appear until the latter half of 2013. Other reports also indicate that it could run a full version of iOS and feature a curved glass display.