Samsung releases revamped smartwatch in challenge to Apple

Samsung released its new Gear S2 smartwatch on Tuesday, looking to regain traction in the wearable technology market quickly being dominated by the Apple Watch.

Samsung introduced two versions of the new round-faced device to be run on the company’s Tizen operating system, which will limit its reach. Google last year introduced an Android operating system as a software solution for wearable manufacturers.

Apple sold 3.6 million watches in the second quarter, making it the top provider of smart wearable devices after just one quarter of sales, market research firm IDC said in a report last week.

While Samsung didn’t release any apps for the Gear S2 on Tuesday, the new watch will allow for mobile payments, smart car keys and remote control of home devices, the South Korean company said in a statement.

Fitbit dominates the basic wearables market with 4.4 million units sold in the second quarter, according to IDC. Basic wearables differ from smart wearables in that they don’t run third-party applications. Other companies making fitness wearables include Garmin and Jawbone.

IDC estimates that the smart-devices sector will grow to 89 million units in 2019 from 33 million this year, surpassing sales of basic wearables, which are forecast to increase to 66 million units in 2019 from 39 million this year.

The new Samsung watch features a 1.2-inch circular screen with a thickness of 11.4 millimetres. It will include “at-a-glance” notifications for calendars, email and news and enables users to send text messages from their wrists.

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