Recently, unnamed sources told the Korea Herald that Samsung is gearing up to launch a new standalone variant of the Samsung Gear 2. This unannounced model will have its own Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM), allowing users to make and receive calls without the need for syncing with a smartphone.
The report reveals that Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom are currently readying to launch the device. According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office, Samsung has already filed a patent for the Gear Solo name. However, a source close to a recent internal discussion at Samsung added that the company may change the name before it's released.
Sources close to SK Telecom claim that the Gear Solo will be available only in Korea, but did not rule out the possibility of selling the SIM-based smartwatch in overseas markets. However, Samsung has said something like this before, only to see its curved Galaxy smartphone sold here in the United States weeks later.
Currently, Samsung's smart watches require to be tethered to a smartphone via Bluetooth in order to use the "smart" capabilities like getting weather conditions, displaying text messages and receiving calls. To stand out in the smartwatch crowd, a said device needs to cut the Bluetooth cord, which seems to be the case with Gear Solo.
Should smartwatches remain tethered to their parent smartphones, or are we ready for "solo" devices? What would this device cost, and how would ISPs like Verizon and AT&T handle the connection? Would it have its own phone number? This is a budding industry, which is probably why Samsung is testing a SIM-packed smartwatch in Korea first before going global with the product.