No Time to Jump to Conclusions

Might LG Join Samsung in the Adult Watch–Phone Market?


The wrist-phone design is nothing particularly new. Several small, adventurous device makers have brought watch–phones to market in the past decade. However, as wearables are going mainstream and components are miniaturised to support extremely innovative connected things, it isn’t surprising that more self-reliant devices are arriving.

There have been stories since the beginning of the year that LG is working on a smartwatch with built-in cellular connectivity. The Korean sources that correctly predicted Samsung would release a 3G-enabled smartwatch expect LG to release a similar device. It’s a potentially interesting development as the two major brands could establish a product category.

LG’s stand-alone watch would run on CMDA networks, unlike the Samsung Gear S which uses GSM and WCDMA. In July, LG launched the KizON, a 2G/3G children’s watch for the Korean market, and stated its aim to launch the product in North America and Europe during the third quarter of this year. KizON joins a growing number of children’s connected watches, an uncertain market given health concerns from parents.

The fresh rumours of LG’s connected watch are based on a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing for a CDMA wearable. However, such proposals are often misleading, and there’s no guarantee that a new connected smartwatch from LG is headed to the US market.

If LG is preparing a connected smartwatch, it’s unlikely to be based on Android (which requires a smartphone for connectivity). It would be something quite new, and quite unlikely. Nonetheless, it’s worth following the uptake and usage of Samsung’s Gear S. The wrist-phone market has been a long time coming.