You know Apple was testing the iWatch waters with the release of its sixth-generation iPod nano. The gadget was square and could be worn on a wrist like a watch. Apple even released a series of custom watch faces exclusively for this device. Now it's no longer offered by Apple, but it can be found on sale over on eBay, and seems to be quite a hot product.
That said, Apple jumping into the smartwatch pool isn't surprising. It's also not surprising to see Samsung take the same plunge, not to be outdone by its former fruity iFriend. If there's one gorging thorn in Apple's heel, it's Samsung packed with Google's widely-used Android OS.
Let the battle begin.
Slashgear has acquired screenshots of what appears to be a smartwatch from Samsung called the Galaxy Altius. The images were reportedly ripped from a Korean message board in a thread that asked how this watch would fit within the rest of the market. One image even lists the AltiusOS, a possible Java- or Android-based operating system designed by Samsung.
The screenshots also reveal that this device will be carried by South Korea's SK Telecom, the "world's most innovative" mobile service provider. With a data plan, the watch may simply pull information from a 3G network rather than rely on a smartphone's Bluetooth connection. If a phone is present, it may stream info from that device instead.
However the screens indicate that it's a standalone device rather than complimenting a user's phone. The device appears to have 235 MB of internal storage, 1.5-percent of which is likely consumed by the AltiusOS operating system. The report also notes that beta 2 is shown in the images, indicating that the software was built specifically for this device, for that it has been fitted for this particular form factor.
The "home screen" consists of WP8-like titles including a music player, clock, email and more. A scroll bar at the bottom indicates that the LCD screen is touch-based, and the user swipes a finger left and right to access additional tiles. The resolution may be 500 x 500 but that's speculation based on the size of the images.
The new images bring some confusion to the Altius name. Last month brought reports that Samsung's next-generation Galaxy S device slated for a release in April is codenamed "Altius". The flagship device was formerly codenamed "Project J" but changed to the Altius name. It may be possible this codename is used across a broad lineup of devices slated to launch in the same window, including the Galaxy S and smartwatch.