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Rumor Me This: Samsung's Smart Watch Is Real

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You know that old Chinese curse, right? "May you live in interesting times." It's in full swing over the mobile computing market right now.

Rumor has it that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) is working up a watch-like gadget for the post-smartphone era. Not to be outdone, Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF  ) flat-out confirmed that it has a smart watch on tap.

Lee Young Hee, who spearheads the Korean company's mobile division, didn't mince words in a Bloomberg interview.

"Weave been preparing the watch product for so long," he said. "We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them."

Alleged screenshots from the as-yet-unannounced Samsung Galaxy Altius watch, courtesy of Slashgear.

No ifs, ands, or buts: Samsung is definitely preparing this thing.

All right. So I guess a new class of digital watches will be cool again, like the calculator-equipped armband clocks of the early 1980s. ( I thought they were cool when I was eight, OK? Mine played "Rondo Alla Turca"!)

Why dump another gadget style on consumers just as smartphones and tablets are becoming ubiquitous? Well, you can't stop the wheels of progress and something must eventually replace the common smartphone. The market is maturing fast and will most certainly be saturated in just a few years. Just as camera-equipped feature phones replaced basic call-making handsets and smartphones replaced feature phones, this too shall pass. So why not a wristwatch?

These things will perform many of the same tasks as a regular iPhone or Samsung Galaxy handset do today, except on a smaller screen that's more accessible. With a portable computer attached to your wrist, we won't need to dig through pockets and purses anymore. Glancing down at your watch can be more convenient and less rude to bystanders than pulling out and unlocking your phone.

It's also different from Google 's (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) digital spectacles, branded Google Glass. That might become the first mainstream wearable computing platform (some people are always way ahead of the rest of us), and then the watches come in to grab market share. Or maybe people will start wearing advanced watches and glasses on a regular basis, complementing each other.

And in the background, post-PC gear starts to fade as these newfangled alternatives take over. Who will rule the next generation?

Interesting times, indeed.

There's no doubt that Apple is at the center of technology's largest revolution ever, and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded with over 1,000% gains. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. Eric Bleeker, The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and sell Apple and the opportunities left for the company (and your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.

Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On March 20, 2013, at 5:08 PM, lakawak wrote:

    So both companies are going to take a huge loss on a stupid product. No one is clamoring for something with a tiny screen to replace their smartphone. And no one is clamoring for something to replace the device that REPLACED THEIR WATCHES in the first place. The smart phone generation doesn't wear watches. They get the time from their phone. And they don't want to start wearing them.

  • Report this Comment On March 20, 2013, at 5:22 PM, rgardner101 wrote:

    I only put a watch on to dress up.

    It strikes me odd that Samsung who gives us phones as big as a paving slab now wants to go tiny on us.

  • Report this Comment On March 20, 2013, at 8:52 PM, JAVKO wrote:

    Why don't you ask yourself when was the last time Samsung came up with anythig first?

    There is a rumour, no more than that, about iWatch and suddenly Samsung says it has been working on it for years!

    Aaple will come up with something no one has imagined. But if it did an Iwatch, be sure it won't be second. Samsung is just waiting for Aaple to surprise the market so that they can copy it once again.

    The biggest mistake Aaple has made is to have Samsung as a partner. The moment Aaple gets rid of that, the share price will jump.

  • Report this Comment On March 21, 2013, at 7:35 AM, jdmeck wrote:

    Samsung knows their reputation sucks. Look at how he went out of his way to say they have been working on it for a long time. Hate them and will never again buy anything they make.

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