Early reports of an Apple smartwatch sent the tech world into a frenzy yesterday, with LG and Samsung both appearing to have rushed out announcements of their own devices before the day was out.
The day began with a report in Re/code from John Paczkowski which claimed the rumoured Apple smartwatch will arrive with the new iPhone on Sept. 9. It had previously been thought that the new device would arrive separately to the iPhone 6, possibly in its own launch event in October.
With the sudden news that the Apple smartwatch could be arriving within weeks, rival manufacturers scrambled to make their own announcements.
LG had been expected to launch new products at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, but it seems that it may have changed its plans after news of the imminent arrival of the iWatch. A teaser video hinting at LG’s new device was released last week, and it confirmed the company’s plans to announce its smartwatch at the IFA trade fair.
But after news of the iWatch’s arrival broke, LG sent out press releases detailing the full specifications of its smartwatch, the LG G Watch R. The watch features a circular screen, gyroscope, barometer, and heart rate monitor. It will run on Google’s new Android Wear software.
After seeing its rival LG announce an attractive smartwatch, Samsung decided to weigh in too, bringing forward its own IFA announcement. Samsung had been expected to launch its newest smartphone at the IFA trade fair next week as part of a large press event taking place in Berlin, Beijing and New York. The event had been expected to feature the announcement of both the new smartwatch and the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
Instead of waiting for its press event, Samsung announced the new Samsung Gear S watch at 10 p.m. EST, hours after LG’s announcement. The device features a larger screen than the previous four smartwatches announced by Samsung this year, as well as 3G connectivity. Samsung also announced a companion product for the Gear S, the Gear Circle, earphones that transform into a vibrating necklace when not in use.
LG and Samsung have been rivals for nearly 50 years, with the two South Korean tech giants clashing over patents and claims of spying. After the early news that Apple may be bringing forward its smartwatch launch, both companies have apparently rushed to announce their own smartwatches.
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