Watch It: Rumors Out of Asia Speculate on iWatch in 2014, Samsung Gear Solo
New rumors reported by newspapers in Asia offer the goods on two of tech’s bitterest rivals: Apple and Samsung. With one, we hear that the iWatch may be headed to market by the end of the year. With the other, we’ve got some more possible details on a SIM-enabled Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
A post on Macrumors today gives us the scoop on rumors reported by Economic Daily News out of Taiwan. According to the newspaper, Apple is looking to launch the iWatch later this year—a quarter-three 2014 release, to be somewhat more precise about it. Apparently the release is meant to coincide with the release of the iPhone 6 and iOS 8. That would make a lot of sense for lots of reasons; for starters, iOS 8 and the iPhone 6 are supposedly going to pack the Healthbook App that will act as a hub for a user’s vital statistics and health information. Having the iWatch transmit that data—like heart rate and steps taken per day—would obviously make that app much more useful.
According to the report, Quanta Computer will be manufacturing the iWatch units, while the device’s processors and sapphire touch-displays will come from Richtek Technology and TPK. That detail, too, dovetails nicely with the ongoing rumor that Apple has ditched Corning’s Gorilla Glass for the iPhone 6, and is going with a sapphire display. Even still, the Macrumors post points out that just last month TPK was said to be making “flexible AMOLED panels” for the iWatch, not sapphire displays. Could both be true? Maybe there are two iWatch SKUs coming? Or maybe these are just rumors and everyone’s guessing. Probably that one, yeah.
Meanwhile, on the Samsung side of things, the Korea Herald reports that Samsung is still working on a Gear 2 smartwatch equipped with a SIM card, freeing up the need to have the device connected to a smartphone to work and make phone calls. According to the report, Samsung has filed a patent with South Korea’s Intellectual Property Office for a device called “Gear Solo.” That name, it seems could still change by the time it’s released, but to be honest, it sounds pretty perfect.
Moreover, the report doubles down on earlier rumors that the Gear Solo would come out in Korea first, and only possibly would make it to other markets. While a standalone smartwatch could make a certain amount of sense for those not wishing to need two devices, you still have to wonder at whether or not there’s a sufficient audience out there that doesn’t already have a smartphone who would want this. I have my doubts that anyone would actively drop their smartphone ownership in favor of getting a call-making-watch. But at the very least, if Samsung wants to try it out, the company may as well do so on its home turf first and see how it works.
Me? All of this is great—but I’m still waiting for the Moto 360 as my completely-superfluous-smartwatch of choice. What say you?
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