The Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch isn’t even out yet in the U.S., but rumors suggest that Samsung is already working on a follow up device for release in 2014, possibly as early as January or February. CNET reports that a reliable source has said Samsung is testing the waters with its first offering, and plans to offer a more polished, fine-tuned product in the very near future.
The Galaxy Gear hits shelves in October, so the device will only have two months to sell before its successor is announced. Either Samsung has a lot of faith in the Galaxy Gear’s ability to take off quickly, or they are worried about the first product under performing and want to get a better product to the market as soon as possible.
At a recent event, Samsung showed off the features of the smartwatch, which included a native phone application, an automatic message reader, and a notification display. However, the reception was decidedly cool as news emerged following the presentation that the device would only be compatible with current-generation Samsung handsets at launch. Couple this with the device’s high $299 price point, and the Galaxy Gear looks like a product that could be very difficult.
No matter the reason for the rumored follow up, it’s clear that Samsung needs the Galaxy Gear to be a hit if the company wants to get in front of any potential Apple smartwatch device. Though Apple hasn’t formally announced it is working on one, the International Business Times (IBT) suggests the inclusion of the M7 motion-sensing chip in the iPhone 5S shows Apple is readying the phones for the extra processing power they’ll need to power a watch.
IBT also says that the inclusion of the chip points towards a possible “iWatch” release date. When Apple tested LTE in the iPad 3, it was six months later that it appeared on the iPhone. Following that time frame for the M7 chip means an Apple smartwatch would be released in March 2014, a month that the company has favored for previous new releases.
The Galaxy Gear has a tough road ahead of it, especially considering the high cost of the initial product and its relatively low utility (especially among non-Samsung phone owners). Still, if Samsung does have a “more polished” version of the smartwatch waiting in the wings, perhaps it has time to still get the smartwatch product right and get in front of the wearable technology trend before Apple has time to launch its own offering in the emerging wearable technology market.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.