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At IFA, the spotlight will be on smartwatches with better looks and connectivity

Mikael Ricknäs | Sept. 2, 2014
Google's Android Wear will be used on all but Samsung's latest product, the Tizen-based Gear S.

LG has provided a handful of images of the device, which looks more like a traditional watch, as opposed to the G Watch's rather bland design. The company seems intent on showing that the R is just that: an attractive wristwatch, because none of the images show the Android Wear interface.

LG and Motorola still haven't provided any details on what their smartwatches will cost. But the Moto 360 is rumored to have a US$250 price tag. The G Watch R will become available in the beginning of the fourth quarter. There is no official ship date for the Moto 360.

Sony is also expected to launch a new smartwatch at IFA. The company is a veteran in the field, so far using its own version of Android. But given Android Wear's strong momentum, it's likely that Sony will use the Google platform on the new device, according to CCS Insight.

The smartwatch sector is still in its infancy, with products that have a lot of room for improvement. For example, tremendous advances across the entire component ecosystem are needed to achieve multiple days of battery life, according to Daniel Matte, an analyst at Canalys.

Wearable sales are still dominated by armbands from vendors such as Fitbit and Jawbone, which have more than a two-thirds market share.

Overall sales grew by 684 percent during the first half of the year to 6.2 million units, according to Canalys. To put that number in some perspective, about 6.3 million smartphones were sold every two days during the first six months of 2014.

 

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