Look out Samsung, HTC plans camera-equipped smartwatch for 2014

October 22, 2013
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Samsung Galaxy Gear concept

Smartwatch concept

HTC is down but not out: the Taiwanese phone maker is planning to give the Samsung Galaxy Gear some serious competition with a smartwatch of its own.

Just days after CEO Peter Chou revealed in an interview that HTC has the blossoming wearable device market in its sights, a report from Bloomberg provides a few details on HTC’s first smartwatch.

Citing a person familiar with the matter, the report says the smartwatch will feature a camera and run a version of Android, just like the Galaxy Gear developed by Samsung. HTC wants to have the smartwatch in stores “by the second half of 2014”, but details about the device’s cost and functionality are still on the table.

Peter Chou said last week that HTC is “excited about” wearable technology, which is a “critical segment” for the company. However, Chou dismissed the wearable devices currently on the market, calling them “version one” and “gimmicks”.

While HTC’s CEO didn’t call out any competitors, the most prominent wearable device currently on the market is Samsung’s Galaxy Gear. The Gear, which works as a companion to Samsung devices, features a 1.6-inch display and a 1.9MP camera, and runs a modified version of Android 4.2. Since it launched last month, reviewers have panned the Gear for its limited functionality, high $300 price tag, and janky operation.

HTC is in dire need of a turnaround, having just recorded its first quarterly loss as a public company. It remains to be seen if wearable devices, a nascent category of products, will provide a boost to its bottom line.

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