Apple iWatch vs Samsung Galaxy Gear: What we know
With flexible displays and Bluetooth connectivity, the smart watch revolution appears to be beginning in earnest.
The ferocious rivalry between Apple and Samsung is set to spill over into another battleground as the firms gear up to launch wearable devices in the coming months.
There are a handful of smartwatches on the market at present including the Sony SmartWatch 2, Nike Fuelband, MotoActiv and Pebble Watch. However, such devices are still seen as novelty purchases and Apple and Samsung are expected to drive the market forward. So what can we expect from the companies which are dominating everything else mobile related?
Indications suggest the Korean manufacturer is almost ready to go to market with its smartwatch dubbed the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
In its patent filing, Samsung describes the Galaxy Gear as a "wearable digital electronic device 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."
Diagrams filed with the patent application also appear to suggest a flexible display is used.
GigaOM claims to have got hold of the specification list from sources.
Name: Samsung Galaxy Gear
Display: 2.5in display (320 x 320)
Processor: Samsung Exynos 4212 dual core 1.5GHz with Mali-400 MP4 GPU
Software: Android 4.x, Twitter + Facebook integration, Samsung Watch Manager App
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4 and NFC
Launch date: 4 September has been set as a tentative unveiling date.
After popularising the smartphone and tablet form factors, Apple has been uncharacteristically slow to enter the smartwatch race. Reports indicate this is because Apple has had trouble with the development of its iWatch.
Cupertino was reported to have been aggressively hiring engineers to work on the project to help iron out design issues. Most recently, Apple has hired Jay Blahnik, a fitness-industry consultant who was involved in the development of the Nike Fuelband.
Details about specifications are scarce. Reports suggest Apple is trialling a 1.5in display with some form of flexible glass. Little else is known about the iWatch, but it is expected to include Bluetooth connectivity, use some form of iOS and interact with other Apple devices including iPhones.
Reports about the launch date vary wildly too. The iWatch was originally expected to be available at the end of 2013, but the common consensus is that the device will be revealed in 2014. Some sources even suggest Apple could be as far away as 12-months from a finished product.