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No specifics about the watch have been released yet

Apple better watch its back: Samsung is racing to release a smart watch, too.

As the global market for smartphones heads toward saturation (its growth is expected to slow to 9.8 percent in 2017 from 27 percent this year), tech companies are moving forward to the next big thing -- wearable devices.

Reports indicate that Apple will release a smart watch, which acts much like a smartphone, as soon as this year. But it looks like Apple's biggest smartphone competitor has the same idea. 

“We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” said Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business. “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.

“The issue here is who will first commercialize it so consumers can use it meaningfully."

Hee didn't mention any specifics about Samsung's smart watch, such as what it will feature, how much it will cost and when it will be available.

Samsung is likely hoping to beat Apple to the punch because a smart watch could multi-task and connect to devices such as smartphones and tablets -- meaning that the first company to sell a smart watch could hook customers into their particular platform.

While making it to the finish line first will have its advantages, Samsung could also have the upper hand when it comes to pricing, since it makes its own chips and displays. Apple is notorious for having much higher-priced items.

Not much is known about Apple's smart watch either, but a few details have leaked in recent months. For instance, Apple is building the watch's iOS from the ground up instead of starting with the iPod nano's touch operating system (which has a screen about the size of a watch); the company is working on the iPhone's iOS so it can support the device; it will likely have many iPhone-like features, and it could be released later this year.

Last month, a patent application for a "Bi-stable spring with flexible display" was filed by Apple in 2011. It described a bi-stable spring that would be made out of thin steel and wrapped in fabric covering, then heat-sealed. The display would be located on one side of the bracelet (overlaid with an adhesive) and the logic board and battery would be placed on the other side. It also showed a universal fit, a plethora of onboard sensors, wireless charging, etc.

The fact that Samsung is also now releasing a smart watch is meaningful to the mobile device market, as Samsung is Apple's No. 1 competitor in the smartphone realm. Apple's iPhone only represented about 19 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments in 2012 while all Android-powered smartphones accounted for about 70 percent. Android will even beat Apple in the tablet sector this year, according to a new report from IDC. According to IDC, iPad shipments are expected to make up 46 percent of the tablet market for 2013, down from 51 percent in 2012. Android-powered tablets are expected to increase their market share to 49 percent in 2013, up from 42 percent in 2012.

Source: Bloomberg

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RE: They would be stupid not to
By retrospooty on 3/19/2013 4:57:41 PM , Rating: 3
RE: They would be stupid not to
By Milliamp on 3/19/2013 8:56:00 PM , Rating: 1
To play devils advocate Apple legal team could point you here:

There are a few companies that made watch bands for nano essentially making them a smart watch. Apple fanboys could probably argue that nano was one of the first real mass market smart watches. The bands were made by 3rd party companies but if Apple resold them though their store like a lot of other accessories it could be argued that Apple was technically already selling a smart watch.

Even on a serious note, if the thought didn't occur to them at some point during the life of the nano they would have to have been completely unconscious so it's pretty likely their internal documents start talking about it back when they started developing the nano or sooner and not when they made the press releases just recently confirming the effort.

I can assure you teams of lawyers are almost certainly going to get paid millions of dollars discussing this very point in the court room.

RE: They would be stupid not to
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/19/2013 9:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
It's a watch hold a nano....

Not even in the same realm....

RE: They would be stupid not to
By retrospooty on 3/19/2013 9:06:04 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, the fossil still beat it by a mile.

RE: They would be stupid not to
By retrospooty on 3/19/2013 9:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
How about 2003? Fossil was making smart watches 4 years before Apple when thought to copy the smartphone. Look up the Fossil smart watch running Palm OS.

RE: They would be stupid not to
By Milliamp on 3/19/2013 10:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
A valid point but the iPhone looked just like the LG Prada that came out before it too:

It was the same year the iPhone was released but it was still first and it was also a touch screen phone.

RE: They would be stupid not to
By retrospooty on 3/19/2013 10:36:08 PM , Rating: 2
If your point is that Apple freely copies other companies products, then turns around and sues when they are copied themselves, I totally agree.

RE: They would be stupid not to
By Milliamp on 3/20/2013 2:42:31 AM , Rating: 2
yep, pretty much

RE: They would be stupid not to
By KoolAidMan1 on 3/20/2013 4:56:28 AM , Rating: 3
The LG Prada was revealed and released only weeks before the iPhone was. It also didn't have any of the functionality of the iPhone. The Prada was barely good as a feature phone.

Are you really saying that Apple copied LG, greatly improved upon it, and released it in only a few weeks time?

RE: They would be stupid not to
By KoolAidMan1 on 3/20/2013 5:00:34 AM , Rating: 2
Even Steve Jobs didn't claim to "invent" most of his product categories. It was always about execution. Most people here can't tell the difference between who invented something first and who executed it well enough that everyone else follows that execution.

RE: They would be stupid not to
By retrospooty on 3/20/2013 8:22:10 AM , Rating: 2
Yet they still sue for things they copied themselves.

RE: They would be stupid not to
By KoolAidMan1 on 3/20/2013 5:42:43 PM , Rating: 2
So does everyone else, it's all about who files patents for technologies and execution.. Don't hate the player, hate the game, the system is pretty messed up.

Also remember that Apple offers licensing before going to court. I have a Lumia, wanna know why Apple isn't suing? Microsoft is licensing technologies from Apple, and Apple of course licenses things like ActiveSync from MS. Samsung went the other way and decided to go to court instead, while others like HTC eventually ended up licensing. It worked out well for Samsung though, their court costs and settlement are less than if they had done their own R&D on UI or licensed from Apple.

RE: They would be stupid not to
By retrospooty on 3/20/2013 6:43:53 PM , Rating: 3
"Don't hate the player, hate the game"

I am perfectly fine hating both. In fact I am proud of it ;)

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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