Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Qualcomm Inc unveiled smartwatches on Wednesday, tapping a potential "wearables" market worth an estimated $50 billion as the high-end mobile phone market becomes saturated.
The companies launched the devices at nearly simultaneous events in Berlin and San Diego, and some analysts immediately questioned whether the devices were too costly, with expected prices near $300.
Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch works as an accessory to its market-leading Galaxy smartphone, with a small screen offering basic functions such as photos, hands-free calls and instant messaging.
The Gear will go on sale later this month for $299 while Qualcomm's Toq will begin selling in the fourth quarter. Qualcomm did not specify a price. Tech blog Cnet reported it will sell for $300.
"The real question is, will this app enhancement make the purchase of yet another smart device worth it?" said Brian Proffitt
, author of several books on mobile technology and an adjunct instructor of management in the University of Notre Dame.
"It's great to have hands-free capabilities to take notes or snap a picture, but is it $299 great? That's going to be the real test for the Galaxy Gear."
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