People have been anticipating an Apple smartwatch for what seems like a very long time now. However it’s unlikely, at tomorrow’s WWDC keynote in San Francisco, that one will be revealed. Financial analysts say to expect an Apple iWatch debut in Q3 this year.
Apple’s rivals, by comparison are busy bringing their wrist computers to market.
Samsung has been the busiest of the bunch with its Galaxy Gear 1.0 and 2.0 efforts, as well as the recently announced Samsung Digital Health Initiative. Samsung’s first generation Android-based smartwatches didn’t sell particularly well. The new generation, unveiled earlier this year, is based not on Android but on Samsung’s Tizen operating system.
Earlier this year we also saw the launch of Android Wear and an attractive-looking Motorola round-watch design. Reportedly HTC is gearing up to launch a similar, round-faced Android smartwatch (“HTC One Wear“). However the HTC device hasn’t been formally announced.
Also not announced, but apparently real, is a smartwatch from Microsoft. The novel aspect of the Microsoft watch is that it will be compatible with Android devices and iPhones, not just Windows Phones. Health or biometric monitoring will be a central feature, and it could be announced in the next couple of months according to a report in Forbes.
By the end of the summer there will likely be smartwatches from Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and at least three or four others using Android Wear, not to mention independents like Pebble.
Late 2013 survey data from Nielsen found that 70 percent of US consumers are aware of “wearables” and roughly 15 percent say they currently own and use some form wearable technology. Nielsen also discovered that, ”Nearly half of Americans surveyed expressed their interest in purchasing wearable tech in the near future.”
Depending on price and design, the market for smartwatches is potentially much larger than the current market for internet-enabled glasses such as Google Glass, which has not caught on with consumers but is starting to gain traction in specialized industry contexts (e.g., medicine).
I’ll be covering the Apple WWDC keynote tomorrow, where there should be a slew of product announcements (including multiple software upgrades and potentially a “smart home” product). What most people are anticipating however is a larger-screen iPhone 6. If Apple declines to introduce the iPhone 6 tomorrow there will be considerable disappointment all the way around.
- Motorola, LG, Fossil First Brands To Launch Android Wear
- Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Interested In Wearable Tech
- Android Wear: Google Announces Smartwatch
- As LG, HTC Prep Smartwatches, Samsung Ditches Android On Its New “Gear” Devices
- Google Selling Motorola Handset Business To Lenovo For $2.9 Billion