Here’s how Apple Watch killed Samsung’s first fitness tracking smartwatch

The Apple Watch has notably brought about smartwatch efforts by other companies to fail, and a brand new profile from Quick Firm particulars the impression Apple had on Samsung’s efforts within the class. The report explains that it began again in 2011, when it was first rumored that Apple had an curiosity in growing a smartwatch.

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As soon as these rumors emerged, Samsung executives reportedly started pondering of the best way to greatest compete with Apple’s efforts, and ideally, beat Apple to the market. From the beginning, Samsung determined to position a give attention to well being options, fearing that the Apple Watch would in any other case have a right away benefit with “advanced, clinical-grade biosensors.”

In typical Samsung style, sources say, the executives in Korea wished Samsung to beat Apple to the market with its personal superior well being wearable. “They especially wanted to get a product announced before the Apple Watch was announced,” one engineer informed me.

You would possibly keep in mind again in Could of 2014, when Samsung confirmed off its Simband wearable that may very well be fitted with a customized set of well being sensors. This machine was believed by many to be Samsung’s Apple Watch competitor – a yr earlier than the Apple Watch was introduced.

Samsung’s occasion was held every week earlier than WWDC in 2014 as the corporate feared Apple may unveil Apple Watch at that developer convention. The staff engaged on Samsung’s Simband wearable was pushed proper as much as the day of the occasion, to easily create a single working prototype.

As we now know, the Apple Watch wasn’t introduced till September of 2014 and launched the next April. Samsung, nonetheless, says that the Simband wasn’t meant as a response to the Apple Watch rumors and expectations, however relatively a strategy to play offense relatively than protection:

The one present Samsung govt I spoke to for this story, Francis Ho, vice chairman on the Samsung Innovation and Strategy Center (SSIC), denies that Simband was a defensive act in opposition to Apple, at the very least from his vantage level in Silicon Valley. “No one really knew what they were going to do, to begin with,” Ho informed me. “So we were much more interested in playing offense than defense.”

Following Samsung’s occasion in Could of 2014, the corporate continued work behind the scenes on Simband and confirmed off a way more superior and steady model of the wearable at a November developer occasion. For essentially the most half, that was the final time Samsung addressed Simband publicly and even that occasion was overshadowed by the Apple Watch, which had been introduced two months prior.

For the Simband/SAMI initiative at SSIC, the announcement of the Apple Watch was when “the air went out of the tires,” as one engineer put it. The undertaking misplaced a lot of its purpose for present.

Since then, the Simband staff has seemingly stepped out of the limelight. Key engineers and researchers left the undertaking and nobody actually asks any questions on its future. Some at Samsung, nonetheless, nonetheless have large plans for the initiative, together with Francis Ho, VP at Samsung’s Innovation and Technique Middle:

Ho nonetheless has large plans for the appliance of Simband in scientific settings, too. He doesn’t must hesitate to suppose when he describes what success would possibly appear like: “It’s rolled out; maybe it’s approved by some reimbursement plan, maybe it’s sponsored by your employer, and we have it [available] to millions of people,” Ho informed me. “That’s our dream.”

Basically what occurred right here is that Samsung overestimated the potential of Apple Watch and misjudged when the machine could be unveiled and what kind of well being monitoring options it will supply. The corporate had deliberate to preemptively strike a blow to Apple’s efforts, however due to the shaky first demo and lack of clear focus, the Apple Watch overshadowed.

This isn’t the one machine the Apple Watch has put to relaxation, both. Microsoft was additionally believed to be working on an iOS-compatible fitness band in 2014, however due to the Apple Watch’s unveil, it was additionally overshadowed. The device did ultimately hit the market, however if you happen to’re like me, you in all probability couldn’t identify one time you’ve seen anyone really utilizing one.

The total Quick Firm report is an fascinating learn. Examine it out here.