It’s not just Apple.
In the latest indication that electronic companies are targeting the watch business, Samsung, the South Korean brand that has emerged as a fierce competitor to Apple in the smartphone market, reportedly also plans to introduce a smartwatch.
“We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” a Samsung vice president told Bloomberg. “We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future. The watch is definitely one of them.”
The exec declined comment on its features or its price point. But analysts quoted in the article said the watch could retail for less than $200.
The news agency had previously reported that Apple hopes to introduce its smartwatch this year, and had a team of 100 designers working on the project.
Meanwhile, the CEO of Swatch, the world’s leading watchmaker, has reportedly downplayed all the interest in smartwatch technology.
“Personally, I don’t believe it’s the next revolution,” Nick Hayek told analysts, according to Bloomberg. “Replacing an iPhone with an interactive terminal on your wrist is difficult. You can’t have an immense display.” And many people still like their watches to function as jewelry, he added.
JCK tech columnist Michael Schechter says that while the industry shouldn’t “fear” all the talk of an Apple smartwatch, it should also consider its implications.
“Apple does tend to disrupt things,” he says. “People who make their living off of watches…should be thinking about what this might mean. I know that’s something that a lot of people in the music or phone business wish they did.”