Samsung has been in the smartwatch market since October last year when its Galaxy Gear smartwatch first went on sale worldwide. It has since grown to be a powerhouse cannibalizing smartwatch sales in the big markets like United States where it accounts for upto 78% of all smartwatch sales revenues. To further that stake, it has to keep up with times and the company has reportedly been working with Google to release a smartwatch powered by Android Wear, Google’s wearables-focused platform based on its mobile operating system, Android.Gear 2. Samsung’s current smartwatch lineup runs on the company’s backed Tizen OS with the Galaxy Gear, its only Android-powered smartwatch being updated to Tizen a few weeks ago.
Samsung is said to be working on two versions of the smartwatch with one that has an in-house developed chip (like Exynos…) and another with a Qualcomm chip (like Snapdragon…). There are no further details on this but you can bet Samsung has its mind set on exactly which markets it will be targeting with those smartwatches. The baseline is that they will all be powered by Android Wear. Samsung is one of Google’s launch partners for Android Wear and although the company has increasingly shifted its wearables focus to its own Tizen OS, it was still expected that Samsung will still show up at the Android Wear tablet in a big and flashy way. Remember it is at I/O 14 that we expect LG to make quite a splash with its G Watch (it is rumoured attendees will even get a free LG G Watch each). Samsung bringing not just one but two variants of an Android Wear smartwatch will be a big statement. Motorola is also expected to showcase its Moto 360 at the same event.
The IDC expects upto 19 million smartwatches to be sold by the end of the year so whoever jumps in with anything that offers the least chance of success stands a chance at gaining foothold of a very important market that can only grow in coming years as high end smartphone sales hit a plateau and the saturation is felt all across the more mature markets as demand for affordable smartphones drives companies to provide budget devices in emerging markets.
So, Gear 3 or Gear Wear anyone 🙂 ?