Samsung is in talks with the Korean operator SK Telecom to release yet another version of Gear 2 smartwatch with a slot for the SIM card, capable in all respects to call and send messages without communicating to a smartphone.
People close to the matter have informed that South Korean giant is working on this project for some time now, and it seems that current plans is to launch the new version in Korea only, however, a global version is also possible in the future. Both Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom are still mum on the situation.
Most of wearable devices already on the market, including Samsung’s, are need to be paired to a smartphone (via Bluetooth) to perform most of the operations. Therefore, the new Gear 2 with support to the cellular network would give the Samsung ability to differentiate from its competitors. It’ll be able to make and receive calls, read/respond to messages and get notifications alone, without ever being connected to a phone. However, the calling feature could cause a problem to the battery life.
In the past, LG Electronics tried something similar by launching a Watch Phone, able to make video/voice calls and 3G connectivity. However, it didn’t gain any popularity at that time.
The market for wearable devices is growing and major companies are diving into it. Even, Motorola has introduced it’s Moto 360 with new design and features. Obviously, this segment is capturing the interest of consumers, but still very few people are willing to spend $300 (an average price of a smart watch) to buy a device that only serves as a companion for your smartphone.
If Samsung actually planning to release a smartwatch equipped SIM card slot, it will give a boost to wearable market. You can leave your phone at home when you go out, for example, or you go for a run. The opportunity to bring more comfort on your wrist may, in fact, represent a very attractive proposition for a wider section of the public.