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Samsung Teases a Wearable Tech Game Changer

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Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF  ) , surprised attendees at its analyst day by announcing it will be bringing fully foldable screens to the market "sometime in 2015" and even teased the product with a chintzy promo video. Although the video's focus was on phone and tablet combinations, the real opportunity here is in wearable tech—Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) should be on notice. Samsung could have a game changer with its foldable screen.

Wearable tech as the next frontier
As the market for smartphones and tablets continues to become more contested, tech companies are increasingly looking at new growth opportunities. They may have found it in wearable tech: According to Juniper Research, worldwide spending on wearable tech will hit $1.4 billion this year and increase to $19 billion by 2018.

Of these companies, Samsung has the most recent commercial product launch of these new generation of wearable tech products with its Galaxy Gear smart watch. So far, the product has witnessed tepid demand and modest reviews—mostly due to the fact it must be tethered to other Galaxy products for full functionality.

Apple fans are abuzz with any new product chatter, and the rumored Apple iWatch is near the top of that list. The Internet was in virtual hysteria when Thomas Bogner used the Nike Fuel Band as influence for his iWatch concept. Tim Cook is known to both wear and praise the product:

I wear this, it's a Fuel Band. I think Nike did a great job with this. It is for a specific area, it is integrated well with iOS.

Google has taken a different approach to wearables with its Google Glass product. Google integrated its operating system into a pair of glasses and now has San Franciscans abuzz about a floating barge that may be its first Google Glass store.

Wearable tech should be, well, wearable
Wearable tech has always been a desire of the tech crowd. However, the main limitation has always been the display unit. Samsung appears to have taken the first step with its foldable screen. This leads to an instant competitive advantage for smart watches (due to comfort), and a head start on other forms of wearable tech.

The possibilities are endless. As we move toward more interconnectivity, technology should play an even greater part of our lives. Of course, all technology won't be worn, but establishing a foothold in this burgeoning industry is a pathway to growth.

Final Foolish thoughts
This will be a competitive space, you can bet on that. With a potential $19 billion up for grabs annually, you can expect Apple, Samsung, and Google to compete fiercely. Right now, Samsung has not only brought the first commercial product to market (Google Glass is still only available for developers), but they also have a potential game changer in terms of its foldable display screen.

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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 November 06, 2013, at 2:32 PM, HiramWalker wrote:

    If Apple had come out with a watch only half as crappy as Samsung's, they would have been crucified! Yet you are straining yourself to give Samsung credit for having " brought the first commercial product to market". Who cares if it doesn't sell?

  • Report this Comment On November 06, 2013, at 3:29 PM, TMFJCar wrote:


    Thanks for your comments. I did cover that:

    "So far, the product has witnessed tepid demand and modest reviews..."


    Jamal Carnette

    The author

  • Report this Comment On November 06, 2013, at 4:12 PM, RadarTheKat wrote:

    So, a fully foldable screen. If this tech is on the horizon, and if it really is a foldable display and not two displays that merely fold out and align edge to edge to form a single large display, albeit with a seam down the middle, then I'd bet a lot of money that Apple is aware of this and understands both the physics and the manufacturing required to bring their own offering to market. It would be foolish indeed not to imagine Apple isn't all over whatever the next display tech breakthrough will be.

  • Report this Comment On November 10, 2013, at 10:22 PM, mmmm101 wrote:

    Samsung's watch received poor, not modest, reviews, and there is very little demand, not tepid demand, for the product. I'm with @HiramWalker on this one. If Apple came out with a loser product like this, or one "only half as bad" it would have been trashed.

    That said, Apple seems to be losing its reputation as a leader (whether it's real or not is left to be seen) and if doesn't do something to prove it is the Champ very soon it risks consequences far more damaging than missing a quarter's numbers now and again. I am an Apple fan, but I am more than a bit worried and I hope I'm wrong. I know many other Apple loyals that are complaining about a number of different issues that Apple is falling behind on. Come on Apple, wow us... soon!

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