Samsung is reportedly planning to introduce a new standalone smartwatch in the next few months.
Rumours have been doing the rounds that Samsung would release a standalone variant of its Gear 2 model featuring a universal subscriber identity module (USIM) that will allow users to make and receive calls from the smartwatch without being connected to a smartphone.
Dubbed as Gear 2 Solo or Gear Solo, the standalone smartwatch is expected to be priced similar to the Gear 2 and the original Gear.
Now WSJ, after speaking to people familiar with Samsung's plan, reports that apart from being able to make and receive calls, the watch-phone can take photos and send mails. It will feature GPS, Bluetooth and a heart-monitor.
Samsung is said to be in talks with network operators in the US, South Korea and Europe about the upcoming smartwatch, which is expected to be unveiled between June and July. As rumoured earlier, the watch-phone will run on Samsung's Tizen operating system.
The original Galaxy Gear runs on Android whereas the present Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo are powered by Tizen. All these wearable devices need to be connected to a smartphone to make calls and use the internet. The Samsung watch-phone with SIM card will be one among a handful of standalone devices.
However, several market analysts believe that the smartwatch may not be a sound business proposition.
"There's still the question of why people really need to buy smartwatches today. Samsung is estimated to be the dominant vendor of wearables, but it will take quite a bit of time for sales to contribute to the company's earnings," Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at IBK Securities in Seoul, has been quoted as saying. According to him, the market for smartwatches is weaker than that for smartphones.