In a statement to Bloomberg, Samsung mobile VP Lee Young Hee confirmed that the company is working on its own watch-like computer:
- We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long [...] 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.
Hee didn’t offer any further details (features, price, release date) about the watch.
The race is on?
The Bloomberg report frames the story as a race that’s on between Apple and Samsung to be first to get the smart watch to market.
But we'd say that it’s less about being first to market, and more about being the first to capture customers’ imaginations. After all, there were MP3 players before the iPod, smartphones before the iPhone, and tablet PCs before the iPad. They just didn't excite anyone.
Apple has historically (at least during the last decade) had a near monopoly in the game-changing product arena. Despite Samsung’s considerable success, it has yet to create its own market-creating product. With the bitter rivalry between the two companies, we imagine Samsung would love nothing more than to beat Apple at its own game.
Apple's wrist-based computing device (dubbed "iWatch" by the media) is expected to duplicate some iPhone functionality, and add fitness tracking capabilities. It's rumored to release later this year.