Print 24 comment(s) - last by fleshconsumed.. on Sep 4 at 9:34 AM

  (Source: Venture Beat)
Samsung's smartwatch has Android apps, but will it win customers to a long failing form factor?

The smartwatch form factor is quite possibly the most overhyped "next thing".  Technically the form factor isn't all that new -- Seiko (Holdings Corp. (TYO:8050) introduced smartwatches in the 1980s to the few who cared.  More recently Apple, Inc. (AAPL) tested these waters with the "wearable" sixth generation iPod Nano, as has Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) with the Android Smart Watch/Smart Watch 2.  

But in its relentless search for new moneymakers, the industry has once against dredged up this factor which CNN described has "a history of failure" -- and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) is eager to get a piece of the action, if it happens to (finally) succeed.

EV-Leaks, the same group that captured early photos of the Nokia Oyj. (OMX:NOK1VLumia 1020 weeks before its launch, has leaked images via Twitter of Samsung's upcoming smartwatch which appears to be branded the "Galaxy Gear".  
Galaxy Gear Leaks
The screenshots reveal that Samsung is leaning on a fresh new trick to sell consumers on its smartwatch -- NFC.  Using the same NFC technology that Samsung Galaxy Android smartphones use to bump each other transfering contact info and music, the new watch can sync up with your smartphone.

More images have since emerged courtesy of Venture Beat's Christina Farr.  These photos show a WiFi-equipped 3-inch device with a 4-megapixel camera on the strap, and a slide to unlock button on the side of the "watch" face.

Samsung Galaxy Gear (1)
Samsung Galaxy Gear
[Image Source: Venture Beat]

Reportedly the device will feature a 10+ hour battery life.  Some may be surprised at that, hoping for higher, but remember that while device has a much smaller screen than a smartphone, it also has a smaller rechargeable battery.  Battery life is an intrinsic struggle for the form factor and Samsung's device certainly leaves room for Apple's upcoming smartwatch to potential outperform the Gear.

Samsung Galaxy Gear
[Image Source: Venture Beat]

The Galaxy Gear is expected to air at the IFA 2013 trade show in Berlin, which claims to be the largest consumer electronics show in the world.  Samsung is also expected to unveil a fresh "phablet" -- the Galaxy Note III -- at the show.

From the leaked shots it's clear that both "apps" and "Samsung apps" will be available, hinting the new smartwatch may be available for third party development.

Samsung's announcement will head off a potential iWatch announcement at Apple's rumored September 10 event.  So far no Apple product has NFC onboard.  While Apple VP Phil Schiller commented, "It’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem," it's rumored that Apple may be preparing to copy Samsung with patent filings detailing a possible plan to add NFC and support for iTunes gifts.

Sources: EVLeaks on Twitter, Venture Beat

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Back to the future
By Tony Swash on 9/2/2013 9:36:08 AM , Rating: 0
This looks like something someone in 1990 would think was from the future.

RE: Back to the future
By retrospooty on 9/2/2013 10:16:49 AM , Rating: 2
Ya it does... Its all over the tech web that that leak is an early prototype and the final is much sleaker...

The Note 3 is looking pretty nice too. Hopefully they dump the cheap shiny plastic and go with a soft touch.

RE: Back to the future
By Monkey's Uncle on 9/2/2013 10:17:13 AM , Rating: 1
RE: Back to the future
By Nortel on 9/2/2013 11:30:30 AM , Rating: 1
It looks like a mini phone... I guess they ran out of idesign deas.

RE: Back to the future
By retrospooty on 9/2/2013 12:31:49 PM , Rating: 5
Not that I am particularly impressed with Samsung designs. They're kind of so so to me, and the picture above is not a final version it's an early prototype. I am just commenting on your ridiculous notion that everyone is still copying Apple. In case you haven't noticed for the past 2 or 3 years, the smart phone company that is copying features from the others is Apple. Apple is playing catch up as the world has already passed them by. They are all using comparable CPU and GPU, beyond that Apple is left in the dust in almost every technical measurable sense. apples 2013 phone? Hey look it's the same thing only faster again. Oh boy how exciting. Same small low resolution screen, with lower DPI then all of its competitors. Same lack of features. The company you guys worship is sort of becoming a joke at this point.

RE: Back to the future
By Gio6518 on 9/2/2013 12:49:52 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot to mention how iOS 7 is a complete rip off of Android and Windows

RE: Back to the future
By retrospooty on 9/2/2013 1:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
I was referring to how they copied that, notifications, multitasking, and many other features.

RE: Back to the future
By fleshconsumed on 9/3/2013 8:08:32 AM , Rating: 2
Just in what kind of alternative universe do you live?

RE: Back to the future
By retrospooty on 9/3/2013 10:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
Oh please, Apple copies as much if not more than any other company in the history of technology. This is perfectly fine by me, all companies do it. My only problem is with apple suing everybody over it, and its legions of mindless fans insisting apple invented the stuff they copy. Anyone that thinks Apple invents half as much as they copy simply isn't paying attention.

RE: Back to the future
By fleshconsumed on 9/4/2013 9:34:57 AM , Rating: 2
Nevermind, misunderstood your post.

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