Every one is talking about how wearable computing might hamper smartphone growth and how big the market is supposed to get in a few years. We have been hearing rumors from possible smartwatches coming from Apple, Google and Microsoft.
While everyone expects the iWatch, Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Gear. There already several other smartwatches on the market but Samsung is going to be the biggest electronics manufacturer to get into market. Sure Sony has already launched their watches and nobody noticed.
There have been many articles pointing out how the Gear is poised to failure. There have been critics about how it looks unappealing, about the lack of integration with other devices besides Galaxy Note III, about the sluggish software, about the strip and so on. In fact they might have passed on the chance of winning to apple or even Microsoft. However they already have launched and may be already working on version 2.0.
Being the first on the market can have its advantages if you manage to play well. Samsung indeed knows this. Besides being able to improve the project and learning how people use the device, they will also start to grow a application library before the others. We have seen this work very well for apple before. The design has a lot of issues that will make this watch hard to appeal to the general public, something that Samsung has somewhat achieved with the galaxy phones series. I have the impression that it was rushed to the market (the peeble for instance, seems much nicer).
Qualcomm also revealed its own smartwatch, called the Toq, on Wednesday. Like the Galaxy Gear device, the Toq syncs with a user's smartphone to display alerts. For now it only works with Android devices, but Qualcomm may extend the connectivity to work with Apple's iOS as well. The Toq is priced at $300 and is available for pre-order immediately, but is scheduled to hit the market Oct. 10.
if you want to see the current and future competition smartwatch.fm has a nice catalog.
Update: The gear has sold a modest amount of units and has received some software updates. Lets see if they will continue investing or will just wait for apple move (if there will be one).