Samsung releases revamped smartwatch

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SEOUL: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd released its new Gear S2 smartwatch yesterday, looking to regain traction in the wearable technology market quickly being dominated by the Apple Watch.

Samsung introduced two versions of the new round-faced device to be run on the company’s Tizen operating system, which will limit its reach. Google Inc last year introduced an Android operating system as a software solution for wearable manufacturers.

Apple Inc sold 3.6 million watches in the second quarter, making it the top provider of smart wearable devices after just one quarter of sales, market research firm International Data Corp (IDC) said in a report last week. While Samsung didn’t release any apps for the Gear S2 yesterday, the new watch will allow for mobile payments, smart car keys and remote control of home devices, the South Korean company said in a statement.

Basic wearables differ from smart wearables in that they don’t run third-party applications. Other companies making fitness wearables include Garmin Ltd and Jawbone Inc.

IDC estimates that the smart devices sector will grow to 89 million units in 2019 from 33 million this year, surpassing sales of basic wearables, which are forecast to increase to 66 million units in 2019 from 39 million this year. The new Samsung watch features a 1.2-inch (3cm) circular screen with a thickness of 11.4mm. It will include “at-a-glance” notifications for calendars, email and news, and enables users to send text messages from their wrists. — Bloomberg


This article first appeared in digitaledge Daily, on September 2, 2015.