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Op-Ed: Apple Shouldn't Lose Sleep Over The New Samsung Galaxy Gear Smart Watch

The Samsung Galaxy Gear has debuted at the IFA 2013 conference in Berlin, Germany. The smart watch launches at the end of September worldwide. The device shouldn’t be confused with being a phone that you wear on your arm. Instead, it serves as a companion for your smartphone. As such, it allows users to make and place calls wirelessly using a built-in microphone. You’ll also be able to use it to take voice memos, and see notifications from your phone on its screen. Features include:
  • 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display with a 320 x 320 resolution
  • Single-core 800MHz Exynos processor
  • Metal face and buckle
  • Six different shades of adjustable wrist band
The $299 Samsung Galaxy Gear arrives globally on Wednesday, Sept. 25.  It won’t launch in the United States until early October. At launch, Google Play will offer 70 apps that are compatible with the device.

Should Apple be worried?

I’m a little bit surprised that Samsung is offering the Galaxy Gear at such a high price. As a comparison, the Pebble Watch is available for $150. Nonetheless, even at $299, the watch could become one of the top technology products of the upcoming holiday shopping season. Regardless, I’m not sure that Apple should be all that worried that Samsung beat them in releasing a smart watch. For one, it doesn’t look like the Samsung Galaxy Gear has enough new features to convince iPhone owners to switch to an Android-based handset. For another, now that Samsung has shown its cards, it should make it easier for Apple to release a better, and perhaps less expensive, “iWatch” of their own. Finally, this interesting note from The Verge:
Also important will be the Galaxy Gear's battery life. It does use the Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy standard to communicate, but at 315mAh its battery is decidedly small. Samsung promises "about a day" of endurance from the Gear, but by the end of our briefing with the company, the cameras on most of its demo units were refusing to turn on due to the watches running low on power.
What say you? Are you going to buy a Samsung Galaxy Gear?
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