Samsung has officially confirmed the existence and release date of its previously rumored wearable smartwatch that will augment its Galaxy lineup of smartphones.
The company will launch its smart watch, the Galaxy Gear, on Sept. 4 ahead of the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, Germany.
Lee didn’t reveal much about the smartwatch except that it joins Samsung’s Galaxy lineup, and will be released under the previously-rumoured brand name Galaxy Gear — suggesting the watch will be based on Android.
“We will be introducing a new wearable concept device called Galaxy Gear at our own event in Berlin on September 4,” Lee Young-hee, executive vice president of Samsung mobile, revealed in an interview with The Korea Times.
“The Gear won’t have a flexible display. The new device will enhance and enrich the current smart mobile experience in many ways. It will lead a new trend in smart mobile communications. We are confident that the Gear will add meaningful momentum to the mobile industry.”
The plans also suggested the watch would be able to make and receive phone calls, send emails and texts, store information and access the internet, says the Telegraph.
Many hail the device as being the best Android alternative on the market and the device, despite its poor initial reception, has even managed to pull customers away from Apple’s iPhone.
Samsung has been rumored to be working on a smartwatch for quite some time. Rumors about the Galaxy Gear smartwatch picked up steam when the Galaxy Gear name was revealed this month via a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office request.
The patent identified the device as “Wearable digital electronic devices in the form of a wristwatch, wrist band, or bangle capable of providing access to the Internet and for sending and receiving phone calls, electronic mails and messages.”
Documents on the Moveplayer news site showed then that the company has registered the names Samsung Galaxy Gear for the US market and Samsung Gear for South Korea.
However, the company had not confirmed the existence of the wearable smartwatch until today. Samsung plans to hold a special press event on September 4 in Berlin, just a couple of days before this year’s IFA confab.
In addition to unveiling the Galaxy Gear, Lee said that Samsung will be showing off the new Galaxy Note 3 at IFA. Lee again declined to provide details on that device.
Nevertheless, specs for the Galaxy Note III have been leaked online, suggesting the device will have a 5.68-inch 1080p display, 3 GB of RAM, a 13 megapixel camera and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor.
Smartwatch shipments are expected to grow in leaps and bounds in the coming years. According to recent data from Juniper Research, app-enabled smartwatch shipments will hit a little over 1 million this year. By 2018, however, that figure will jump to 36 million.
As ZDNet reports, analysts speculated earlier this month that Samsung was considering buying BlackBerry as part of its wider OS development efforts.
A more concrete development between the two companies however is that Samsung appears to be gearing up to bring BBM to its Android devices, with the app likely to launch in African markets first.