|Samsung Smartwatch Unveiled Next Week|
|By JOANNA STERN (@joannastern)||Aug 27, 2013, 9:41 AM|
The smartwatch race begins next week. After months of leaks and speculation, Samsung has confirmed to the Korea Times that it plans to announce its Galaxy Gear smartwatch at an event at the annual IFA technology tradeshow in Berlin on Sept. 4.
In the same conversation with the Korea Times, Lee Young-hee, executive vice president of Samsung's mobile business, confirmed that the Galaxy Note III, Samsung's pen-equipped, big-screen phone whose details have been teased in media invitations, would also be announced at the event.
But after consistent speculation that Apple and Google have been working on competing smartwatches, the big focus is on Samsung's watch.
"The Gear won't have a flexible display. The new device will enhance and enrich the current smart mobile experience in many ways," Lee told the Korea Times. "It will lead a new trend in smart mobile communications. We are confident that the Gear will add meaningful momentum to the mobile industry."
Lee emphasized that it will have a "nonflexible" display, despite the company's work on creating flexible or bendable screens and the images filed along with Samsung's "Galaxy Gear" trademark and patents.
Similar to the other tablets and phones in Samsung's Galaxy line, the watch will be powered by Google's Android operating system.
Samsung did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for more details on the watch and U.S. availability. As with previous announcements at this particular European tradeshow, the products tend to go to other countries first.
Apple, Google and Microsoft have all been rumored to be working on their own smartwatches as well. Apple filed for a trademark on the term "iWatch" in July, and has been hiring people from the fashion industry, presumably to work on the wearable product.
ABC News will have live coverage of Samsung's event on Wednesday, Sept. 4, starting at 1 p.m. ET.