Jungah Lee Seoul
Samsung Electronics will introduce a wristwatch-like device named the Galaxy Gear next month that can handle phone calls and e-mails and surf the internet, according to people close to the matter.
The Galaxy Gear would be powered by Google’s Android operating system and go on sale this year to beat a potentially competing product from Apple, the people said. The device would be unveiled on September 4, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the plans are private.
Asia’s biggest technology company is racing to create a new industry of wearable devices as the market for top-end handsets nears saturation. The global watch industry will generate more than $60 billion (R600bn) in sales this year, and the first companies to sell devices that multitask could lock customers into their platform, boosting sales of other devices.
“It will carve a niche for sure as this is an initial product in the market,” said Chung Chang Won, an analyst at Nomura Holdings in Seoul.
Apple had a team of about 100 designers working on a watch-like device, two people familiar with the matter said in February. Apple wanted to introduce its device this year, one of the people familiar said at the time. – Bloomberg