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Unlike normal watches that can tick away for years on end, Samsung only promises a full day's use out of the Gear before it has to be charged.
Apple's plans for a smartwatch aren't known, but the company has been seeking a trademark for the iWatch name. The company is widely believed to be developing a watch that works on the same software as its iPhone and iPad, although it's unclear if it will be ready before the holidays. An announcement event next week is expected to be on new iPhones. Apple declined to comment Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Qualcomm didn't disclose a specific price or date for the Toq, beyond saying it will come out this year. Sony didn't provide many details about its SmartWatch 2 either. The focus of its announcement Wednesday was a new smartphone with a high-resolution camera.
Robert-Jan Broer, head of Germany-based market research firm Chronolytics, said many people who have stopped wearing watches because they are surrounded by time-telling devices might consider buying a smartwatch.
Brian Profitt, a technology expert and adjunct instructor of management at the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, said the real question is whether the Samsung watch "will make the purchase of yet-another smart device worth it."
"It's great to have hands-free capabilities to take notes or snap a picture," Profitt said. "But it is $299 great? That's going to be the real test for the Galaxy Gear."