Samsung Confirms SmartWatch Project, Hints At Direct Competition With Apple’s iWatch

By Binu Paul , Updated Mar 19, 2013 09:22 AM EDT

We know Apple is most likely working on a smartwatch. Now comes word that Samsung is as well.

Not so long after the iWatch rumors began floating around, we heard that Apple's biggest rival, Samsung, was also thinking of making one. On Tuesday a Samsung executive confirmed the company's smartwatch push, perhaps in an effort to subvert the Cupertino tech giant's plans to dominate an industry that is predicted to be the future of technology.

"We've been preparing the watch product for so long," Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung's mobile business, says to Bloomberg. "We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them."

Although Lee did not spill any more details such as features, pricing or availability the Samsung initiative is nothing less than a push to stop Apple from dominating the wearable tech. Apple is rumored to release its own smart watch later this year. The speculation is the device will be made of curved glass and metal and can be wirelessly connected to other iOS devices such as iPhone. In addition, the iWatch will come with some iPhone capabilities such as call dismissal and message reading.

An earlier Bloomberg report revealed that Apple employed a unit of 100 product designers to develop its device. According to experts' estimates, the global watch industry will generate more than $60 billion in sales this year and as the report states, "the first companies to sell devices that multitask could lock customers into their platform, boosting sales of phones, tablets and TVs."

A person close to the Apple initiative informed Bloomberg that the company will release the wristwatch device as soon as this year. The device will apparently allow users to make calls, see the identity of incoming callers and check map coordinates. The source also says that the device will also come with a pedometer for counting steps and sensors for monitoring health-related data, such as heart rate. While Apple looks to house its smartwatch with a host of features, the South Korean company may be able to undercut Apple on price since it develops its own displays and chips.

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