Samsung to Battle Apple Watch with Gear A
As nearly a million early birds impatiently await the delivery of the Apple Watches they ordered Friday morning, both watchmakers and tech companies plot to create a device that can compete for the title of most wanted smartwatch. One contender will be Samsung’s Gear A, which will be making a play for non-fans of Apple products.
A report from the site SamMobile claims that the successor to the Samsung Gear S will come in two different versions, one a Bluetooth model using the Internet connection from a smartphone and the other 3G-enabled to support voice calling. Both are likely to have built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and be powered by Samsung’s proprietary OS Tizen. Unlike the Gear S (pictured) the Gear A is expected to have a round metal face similar to that of 2014’s best-selling smartwatch, Motorola’s Moto 360.
Since the Gear S has a list price of $350, the Gear A should cost the same or only a bit more. Samsung is expected to launch the Gear A later this year.
Are Fossil and Movado Threatened by the Apple Watch?
The splashy launch of the Apple Watch has the watch industry talking about the effect of smartwatches on the sales of more traditional timepieces. While the $10,000-plus Apple Edition is not expected to pose much of a threat to high-end watch brands like Rolex or Patek Philippe, the lower-priced models starting at $350 are seen by some industry insiders as giving some competition to watches bearing similar price tags.
Two names seen as facing threats from the Apple Watch are Movado and Fossil, both of which are already feeling the heat. Since the launch of the device, KeyBanc Capital Markets and Pacific Crest lowered their earning expectations for the watch brands. Plus, shares of Fossil Group Inc. took a drop of nearly 3% on Monday with shares of Movado Group Inc. dropping about 1%.
Of course, the smartwatch could turn out to be a passing fad or be replaced by something newer and trendier but for now wearable tech seems likely to cut into the market for mid-priced watches.