Samsung to launch a phone-enabled Gear smartwatch

The next generation could have its own SIM card for making calls

Samsung is reportedly working on a new Gear smartwatch that won't need to connect to a phone to make calls. The Korea Herald reports that the firm is in talks with SK Telecom about making a proper watch phone.

It's said to be a variant of the Gear 2 that was unveiled at Mobile World Congress last month.

Those close to the matter say the watch will feature a USIM, and will only be available in Korea for a while. However, they didn't rule out a launch in other markets.

This has echoes of the LG Watchphone, which launched in 2009. It was a novel idea, but failed to take off because of its high price and limited functionality.

The technology has advanced significantly since then though. LG and Motorola have announced their own smartwatches under Google's Android Wear OS.

Samsung's latest techy timepieces use the Tizen OS, instead of Android, signalling a break with Google operating system. Samsung's smartphones – like the Galaxy S5 – still run Android, but the South Korean company is looking to forge its own path away from Google.

On Monday, Samsung released the software development kit for the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, so developers can start making apps for them.

The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are expected to go on sale later this month.

Source Korea Herald