At the rate Apple is going, it may very well be the last maker of consumer electronics to introduce a smartwatch now that China’s Huawei is reportedly readying their own device set to unveil later this month.
WSJ.D reported Monday that another contender for the smartwatch crown is planning to step into the ring during this year’s Mobile World Congress event, which kicks off in Barcelona, Spain on February 24.
A spokeswoman for China-based Huawei Technologies declined to elaborate on the company’s smartwatch plans, which will make their debut alongside a new smartphone and two new tablets at the annual mobile conference.
One thing’s for sure, however: The smartphone Huawei plans to announce won’t be a sequel to the Ascend P6, instead choosing to hold a separate launch event for the company’s next-generation flagship handset.
The burgeoning smartwatch market continues to make headlines, with Sony, Pebble, Samsung and others duking it out amidst rumors that Apple will soon jump into the fray with its own Bluetooth-connected wearable for the wrist.
Although Huawei is ranked third behind Samsung and Apple as a major player in the global smartphone market, the Chinese vendor has little brand recognition for anything but networking gear outside of its home turf.
Huawei took the wraps off a video game console called the Tron at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show, but now plans to follow rival Chinese manufacturer ZTE into the wearables market.
Ironically, smartwatches appear to be a "market" in name only thus far: Canalys recently claimed a mere 500,000 such devices would ship globally last year, but expected that figure to mushroom to five million in 2014 – assuming major players like Apple, Google and Microsoft decide to join the fray.
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