Smartwatches: A New Competitor Has Entered the Ring

Many have speculated on the likelihood of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) making a smartwatch to add to its portfolio of smart devices at various sizes, but now it seems a new and big-time competitor might be looking to corner same market.

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Apple pretty much beat everyone to the punch with the launch of the iPhone — the first of the modern generation of smartphones. It took a while for smartphones run on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android or Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone powered devices to start showing up. The same thing could be said of the tablet market, as Apple rushed out with the iPad and subsequent iterations, leaving many to trail behind with less successful devices.

Although Apple was ahead of the gun on those devices, it’s more or less an open race in the market for a smartwatch. Sony (NYSE:SNE) has already launched a watch-like device that syncs with users’ smartphones via bluetooth, but it wasn’t widely embraced. A device from Apple would be far more likely to sweep up consumers, considering Apple’s loyal fan-base.

But Apple’s not the only one looking into making wearable devices. Google has already created Google Glass — a smart device that displays information onto a pair of glasses — and given it a limited initial release. Samsung is also in the running for a smart device, and because Samsung has a bigger global share of the smartphone market, a quicker release could help Samsung steal the market…

Now it seems that Microsoft may also be a competitor. The company has already pushed out smartphones to compete in that market, and it has been working on tablets that may be able to compete better if the prices can come down more. And, according to some suppliers, Microsoft has also request components to start working on a smartwatch.

Microsoft’s current smartphones and tablets haven’t shown amazing performance when it comes to competing with the Android and iOS counterparts, so it’s not clear how well a Microsoft smartwatch could compete against devices from its rivals. However, it might have a stronger chance if it can release the device before the competition.

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All the companies eying the smartwatch as a viable product have a chance to reel in some money; Gartner has predicted that the market for wearable smart-devices will reach $10 billion by 2016.

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