With the advent of smartwatches in the recent years, tech giant Samsung has announced plans for a new line of watches for the information age, the Gear A. Codenamed Orbis, this new smartwatch uses a circular face like that of the Moto 360 and LG’s G Watch R. The 7th generation watch will no doubt garner massive sales. In 2014 Samsung sold the most smartwatches out of every company in the market: a resounding 1.2 million.
The popular circular design will most likely only amplify this, as seen by the revival of the original watch design by the new technological versions and its recent success. Motorola, Garmin, Martian, and LG all have watches out with circular faces that sell very well, a pattern that will most likely continue with Samsung’s new watch.
Obviously one of the main selling points of the Gear A is the circular face, but it also boasts some other, more unique features. To navigate the watch’s OS, the wearer will use a rotating bevel, the exact purpose of which is unknown but will probably be to select items and set times. Samsung has released a software development kit (SDK) for developers to apply for, which you can find here. Encouraging developers to contribute to the project is a good move, but it also revealed that the watch will run on Tizen, Samsung’s own operating system, and not Google’s ubiquitous Android Wear. This OS switch may decrease sales slightly, as owners of older smartwatches may prefer to stick with Google’s software rather than move to Tizen. Of course, a small percentage out of 1.2 million is not an enormous blow, but it could still have repercussions in Samsung’s development of future smartwatches.
Samsung also announced in their SDK release that they are working with “global partners” like CNN, Yelp, and FidMe. This direct involvement with popular third parties may improve the relevant applications: CNN and Yelp will definitely work better with a watch that they helped develop than with a watch they had no part in making. This is a good move, as it shows developers that they are willing to work with outside talent and it shows people that their favorite apps will work even better on the Gear A.
Samsung allegedly plans to release their new watch during the Cellular Telephone Industries Association show, which begins on September 9th of this year. This is around the time that Samsung usually releases other mobile products, so it is quite probable that they will release the Gear A then. The price of the watch will most likely be in the same range as the top competing smartwatches by Motorola and LG at around $225. Because it is not an entirely standalone watch (it requires a smartphone to function to its potential), it will certainly cost less than the Gear S, Samsung’s previous smartwatch.
All in all, the Gear A will most likely be very successful, and you can be sure that you will see it in many stores later this year. The success of this watch, if it is successful, will only increase Samsung’s development and production of further smartwatches, and will make more progress in the smartwatch field. Whether you like the Gear A or not, it will push technological advancement ahead and pave the way for greater watches to come.