According to several reports, Samsung has been hard at work preparing a new smart watch that can serve as a standalone device – not requiring users to have a phone near by. According to The New York Times, Samsung, “is making another run at that perennial technogeek dream, the wrist communicator,” and looks to have the device ready for release in the next few months.1 The Times went on to describe some of the potential features that will appear in the new watch:

Samsung’s watch-phone will be able to make and receive calls without being tethered to a smartphone, something most smartwatches on the market now can’t do, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. It will also take photos, send email and come with GPS, Bluetooth and a heart monitor, the people said—a suite of features that would make the gadget-toting James Bond proud.2

The new, as yet unnamed device, is set to be unveiled sometime in either June or July of this year. The watch will reportedly run a version of the Tizen Operating System. There are a few significant story lines to follow leading up to the release. Firstly, Samsung is using its smartwatch line as a sort-of test for the Tizen OS, after a falling out with Google over the recent months. What’s more, it is as yet undetermined whether or not the smartwatch market is even sustainable. Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at IBK Securities in Seoul, weighed in on the wearables market:

There’s still the question of why people really need to buy smartwatches today…Samsung is estimated to be the dominant vendor of wearables, but it will take quite a bit of time for sales to contribute to the company’s earnings.3

  1. Yun-Hee Kim and Min-Jeong Lee, The New York Times, “Samsung Readies Phone for Your Wrist,” 23 May 2014  
  2. Ibid  
  3. Yun-Hee Kim and Min-Jeong Lee, The New York Times, “Samsung Readies Phone for Your Wrist,” 23 May 2014