Samsung and Apple will largely own the smartwatch market between them, predicts Jackdaw Research chief analyst Jan Dawson in a report being issued later today and seen by Re/code.
Dawson said that new players should “stay out of the market,” and existing players should scale back their plans.
“We do not recommend that existing vendors should maintain current levels of investment when market growth and the overall revenue opportunity remain poor,” Dawson said. “It is unlikely that more than one or two small vendors will be able to make a sustainable business out of smartwatches in the face of competition from Samsung and […] Apple” …
Google also confirmed that it’s working with a handful of partners to bring Android Wear powered wearables to market by later this year:
Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; and fashion brands like the Fossil Group to bring you watches powered by Android Wear later this year.’
A day after Motorola revealed that it is working on a smartwatch for release later this year, Android Police posted low-resolution photos of what it says is an early prototype from some point last year. The unnamed source claims that the watch was code-named Gem but known to the development team as the Google Watch.
With Motorola having now parted company from Google, and Google believed to be working on an LG-made Nexus-branded smartwatch to be announced next month and launched at Google I/O in June, the one certainty is that this device won’t be launched as the Google Watch … Expand Expanding Close
CNET is reporting that Google is set to announce a smartwatch next month, manufactured by LG (who also manufactured the two most recent Nexus phones). The device is described as the Nexus of smartwatches, with Google controlling the design of software and hardware.
Although Google will announce the product in March, the watch will not be released until June at Google I/O. As 9to5Google reported last year, Google’s smartwatch will revolve around Google Now’s assistant features with voice playing a major role in how users interact with the product.
The video may be slightly cringeworthy (hot girls are always turned on by geek tech, right?), but the concept is certainly an exciting one: a foldable display which allows a pocketable smartphone to unfold or unroll into a tablet … Expand Expanding Close
The Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch reviews are out, and that red glow you see on the horizon is from the blushing faces at Samsung, visible all the way from Korea. The reviews are not, to put it kindly, overwhelming in their enthusiasm for the device.
A smartwatch the Galaxy Gear is not. Frankly, I’m not sure exactly what it’s supposed to be. Samsung describes it as a companion device, and the Gear is indeed chronically dependent on an umbilical link to another Samsung device, but it never left me feeling like it was a helpful companion. The notifications are Orwellian, the media controls are exiguous, and the app selection has no substance to underpin the hype. Samsung’s attempt to turn the Gear into a style icon is also unlikely to succeed, owing to the company’s indecision about its target demographic. Trying to please all tastes has resulted in a predictably charmless and soulless product.
The Gear’s camera and phone calls are both surprising and delightful, but they’re unfortunately isolated highlights. When all is said and done, I expect the Galaxy Gear will be looked back upon as a rough first draft that helped the Korean chaebol steer a better course en route to the goal of producing a real smartwatch. As it stands today, though — unintuitive, oversized, overpriced, and in constant need of a Galaxy guardian — the Galaxy Gear might have been better off staying on the drawing board … Expand Expanding Close
Samsung is promising to be the first company to bring a flexible OLED screen to market in a special edition of the Galaxy Note 3 – yep, a device with a rigid case.
It’s not quite as silly as it seems: though the display won’t flex, it should be a little bit lighter and a whole lot tougher.
LG demonstrated a 5-inch flexible display back in May, but has not yet brought a flexible product to market. Apple has also patented a flexible screen, and it has often been suggested that the company plans to use one in the long-awaited iWatch.
Google has reportedly acquired WIMM Labs, the company that first introduced us to its 1-inch, Android-powered wearable platform back in 2011.WIMM stopped offering its open Developer Kit for its “WIMM One” platform back in the summer of 2012, noting on its website that it had “entered into an exclusive, confidential relationship” for the technology. According to a report from GigaOm, that’s because Google quietly picked up the company last year to help work on its own wearable products:
At the time, some publications speculated that Apple may have snatched up WIMM Labs to bolster its iWatch efforts, but GigaOM has now learned that the buyer actually was Google. The acquisition was facilitated by Woodside Capital Partners, and it looks like a significant part of WIMM’s staff stayed on to join Google. Most of WIMM’s senior staff still list their original company on their Linkedin profile, but a few have updated it with a mention of their new employer.
The news comes just as Samsung is about to introduce its new Galaxy Gear smartwatch product and as rumors of Apple releasing a smartwatch or similar wearable product continue to heat up. According to the report, which Google is yet to confirm, the talent picked up from WIMM is currently working with Google’s Android team. There is no mention of Google working on a smart watch product specifically, and, while the 1-inch WIMM One platform might be best suited to the wrist watch form factor, there is a possibility Google could put the tech towards other wearable products. Expand Expanding Close
According to a new report from fansite SamMobile, Samsung will introduce its Galaxy Gear smartwatch during the Unpacked Episode 2 event on September 4th. The Galaxy Gear will reportedly carry the SM-V700 model number and act as a companion device for Samsung’s other Galaxy smartphones. Other details are sparse at this point, though several patent filings have given us a hint as to what we may see in terms of design. Samsung is also excepted to announce its Galaxy Note III flagship during the Unpacked event next month.
Samsung chief strategy officer Young Sohn showed a video full of concepts for wearable devices. Specifically, the video focused on the health benefits of wearable computing. It shows a women using her device to quickly send health test results to her doctor. “We think the health area is a really key area of innovation,” Sohn later said. Samsung things that, though the market for wearable devices is small at the moment, it will rise quickly when the technology is further integrated into watches, glasses, and more. The video also shows Samsung’s vision for displays and how you could be able to easily expand and compress your device to get a larger or smaller form factor.
We haven’t heard too much about a Samsung wearable device, but we have to imagine that it is in the forecast, as both Google and Apple are reportedly eying the market. Expand Expanding Close
At first glance, the alleged Samsung Galaxy Altius looks like something pushed out by Microsoft. However, this Windows Phone-esque device is said to be one of a kind. The Galaxy Altius is a rumored smart watch from Samsung and presumed to be a direct competitor to the rumored Apple iWatch and other speculative future wrist devices. Leaked screenshots today posted on Slashgearshow different tasks running on the device, such as a clock app, the boot-up screen and alleged home screen, which show live tiles very similar to the ones seen in Windows Phone devices. The leaked shots are said to come from a Korean message board website. Slashgear said that because of the “SKT and SKTelecom” words found on some of the leaked screenshots, it’s implied that the watch will be tied to a carrier. It’s also said the OS on the device is not Android but rather a new operating system titled “AltiusOS”. This could imply it’s running a specialized operating system designed for future Samsung watches or an unannounced OS entirely.
Making do with what it has, Slashgear stated that judging by the screenshots the device would feature a 500-by-500-pixel display. And, since the home screen is in a slider like format, it’s presumed the device will in fact be touchscreen (unlike the other smart watch on the market, Pebble).