An artist's concept of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch. Photo: Voucher Codes Pro
Samsung will introduce a smart watch named the Galaxy Gear next month that can make phone calls, surf the web and handle emails, sources say.
The Galaxy Gear will be powered by Google's Android operating system and go on sale this year to beat a potentially competing product from Apple, the two sources said. The device will be unveiled on September 4, two days before the IFA consumer electronics show begins in Berlin, one of the sources said, asking not to be identified because the plans are private.
Asia's biggest technology company is racing against other electronics makers, including Sony, to create a new industry of wearable devices as the market for top-end smartphones nears saturation. The global watch industry will generate more than $US60 billion in sales this year, and the first companies to sell devices that multitask could lock customers into their platform, boosting sales of smartphones, tablets and TVs.
"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. "Wearable devices could be one of the trends in the smartphone market, but I'm not sure yet whether watches or glasses will set the trend."
The Galaxy Gear being released next month won't have a flexible display, though the company is continuing to work on developing a bendable screen, one source said. It will be unveiled the same day as Samsung's Galaxy Note 3, a combination smartphone and tablet, or "phablet".
Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung's mobile business, said in March the company was working on a watch device.
Apple has a team of about 100 designers working on a smart watch to be released later this year, two sources said in February.