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Samsung gearing up for September smartphone launch
AFP
July 24, 2013
First Published: 10:35 IST(24/7/2013)
Last Updated: 14:41 IST(24/7/2013)

The latest wrist-worn computing device-based rumors center around Samsung's GEAR smartwatch and the company's plans to launch it alongside its third generation phablet, the Galaxy Note III this autumn.


Unlike other reports relating to other companies' supposed entry into the wearable, and, in particular, the wrist-worn technology sector, Samsung rumors have a higher than average degree of accuracy, partly because unlike many of its contemporaries, the company has made no secret of its intentions to actually launch a smartwatch within the next 12 months.

Earlier trademark applications show that the device is likely to be called the Samsung GEAR and the latest news, courtesy of Patently Apple, claims that the smartwatch will be ready for its big reveal September 6 at the same press conference that will see the Korean technology firm launch the third iteration of its Galaxy Note phablet.

All of which suggests that the GEAR will be marketed as an accessory rather than as a standalone product. This line of thinking is supported by a set of leaked screenshots that were hosted on Korean message board service RULIWEB that show the device displaying email, calls and music notifications.

Phablets getting their own accessories

Unlike the typical smartphone, a huge five-to-seven-inch screen phablet is not easy to whip out of a pocket or a bag every time its owner receives a message or misses a call so a wrist-worn notification device, and one that could potentially double as a music player, could make sense and could indeed prove popular with existing phablet owners.

When Sony unveiled its latest phablet, the 6.4-inch display Xperia Z Ultra, on June 28 it did so alongside a wearable accessory called the Sony Smart Bluetooth Handset which contains a small screen for message notifications, a headphone jack and a built-in mic so that the phablet can be left in a bag and the handset used as a wireless remote control. A feature that a number of tech sites, including Computerworld, saw as validation for the creation of the smartwatch market.

In Samsung's case, there is also a strong possibility that the watch would offer some type of health or motion-tracking functionality. During the opening keynote debate of the ventureBeat Mobile Beat conference on July 10, Samsung's chief strategy officer Young Sohn, showcased a proof of concept video outlining Samsung's future vision for mobile devices. It included non-invasive wrist-applied sensors that wirelessly communicated medical information to doctors via smartphones.

In March, when Samsung officially announced that it was developing a smartwatch, the news came following intense speculation as to Apple's intentions in the same tech space. Since the spring, LG, Intel, Dell and Acer have all officially revealed that they too are considering smartwatches or are already in the process of developing devices. However, similar rumors relating to Apple, Google and Microsoft have yet to be officially confirmed or denied.


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