The Galaxy S 4 Mini is finally coming to the U.S. and will be available on AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and U.S. Cellular starting in November. The 4.3-inch Galaxy S 4 Mini shares its name and software with the 5-inch Galaxy S-4, but its hardware is downgraded.
Samsung has sold 40 million Galaxy S-4 units worldwide, in the six months since it hit the market. The Galaxy S-4 Mini features a 960 x 540 display, down from 1080p, an 8-megapixel camera, down from 13 megapixels, and a 1.7GHz dual-core processor Snapdragon 400, down from a quad-core 1.9GHz chip.
The $299 Galaxy Gear watch has an 800 MHz Samsung Exynos single core processor, a 1.63 inch 320×320 Super AMOLED display, and a 1.9 megapixel camera with the ability to auto-focus and capture HD 720p videos.
The Galaxy watch sports Bluetooth 4.0, 4GB of internal memory, 512MB of RAM, two microphones (with noise cancellation ability), speaker, accelerometer and gyroscope.
Like the Samsung and Sony watches, the Pebble E-Paper Watch uses Bluetooth, but doesn’t have its own SIM card and can’t make or receive phone calls independently. The $150 Pebble watch will communicate with an Android or iOS device using Bluetooth 2.1 but includes support for Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Low Energy) for a later update.
Smartwatches are being developed by Acer, Apple, BlackBerry, Foxconn/Hon Hai, Google, LG, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba. Google Glass, has prompted some to consider how they might use wearable technology.
Companies such as Fitbit and FiLIP are seeking to develop recurring revenues through premium services. FiLIP is an FCC approved app-based communication watch for children which combines GPS, Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities to keep parents and kids connected via two way voice calling, messaging and location functions.
Juniper Research predicts retail revenue from smart wearable devices, including smart watches and glasses, will reach $19 billion by 2018 compared with $1.4 billion this year. Revenues will be driven by high price points for these devices coupled to their anticipated strong market demand.