South Korea's No. 2 tech giant LG Electronics Inc. said Wednesday it plans to release its first smartwatch in the second quarter of this year, jumping into another battle with Samsung Electronics Co. in the wearable market.
Jointly developed with U.S. Internet giant Google Inc., the LG G Watch is powered by Android Wear, an operating system optimized for wearable devices, and will be connected to all Android smartphones, the company said.
LG said its "OK Google" feature will allow users to find information with voice search. The latest device is the first of its kind in LG's product line-up to completely function as a smartwatch.
"This collaboration with Google is an opportunity for LG to promote its design and engineering capacity in the wearable market," said Park Jong-seok, who heads the company's mobile business.
LG earlier showcased the Lifeband Touch at the U.S. Consumer Electronics Show in January, a wearable that tracks users' physical activities and can connect to smartphones through its touch screen.
Last month, Samsung rolled out Samsung Gear Fit, a new wearable device that comes with the industry's first curved Super AMOLED display. It can be worn more comfortably and is connected to the Galaxy S5's health management features.
South Korea's No. 1 tech giant also debuted the Tizen-powered Gear 2 smartwatch, featuring a 1.63-inch screen and basic 2.0-megapixel camera, which further added to the firm's wearable line-up.
Samsung sold some 860,000 units of the original Galaxy Gear during the July-December period.
Samsung Electronics accounted for 54 percent of the global smartwatch market in the second half of 2013, according to the data compiled by U.S.-based market researcher Canalys. Japan's Sony Inc. and U.S. Pebble accounted for 19 percent and 16 percent of the market, respectively, during the cited period, the data showed. (Yonhap)