HTC Corp. is developing a smart watch that uses Google Inc.’s Android software and can take pictures, according to a person familiar with the matter.
|A man uses a mobile device as he walks past an HTC Corp. retail store in Taipei. (Bloomberg)|
The watch’s price, full functions and sales strategy still must be decided before it’s released by the second half of 2014, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. The smart watch will join a growing segment of wearable technology that already includes devices from Samsung Electronics Co. and Sony Corp.
Dwindling market share for HTC smartphones has led to the company’s first quarterly loss and a 54 percent slump in its share price this year as it loses ground to Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone maker. Apple Inc. has a team of designers working on a watch-like device, two people familiar with the matter said in February, and the company has sought trademark protection for the “iWatch” name in Japan.
Retail sales of Internet-connected wearable devices, including watches and eyeglasses, will reach $19 billion by 2018, compared with $1.4 billion this year, Juniper Research said in an Oct. 15 report.
HTC doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation, the company said in an emailed response to questions from Bloomberg News.
HTC, once the biggest seller of smartphones in the U.S., saw its share of the global market drop by more than half in the second quarter. The company plans redesigned versions of its flagship HTC One model and has hired actor Robert Downey Jr. in a renewed push to promote its brand. (Bloomberg)