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Samsung to make new smartwatch available to competition

Image: A visitor walks past a billboard advertising Samsung Gear S smartwatch at the IFA consumer technology fair in Berlin, September 5, 2014. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/Files

BERLIN (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics <005930.KS> said on Thursday it would make its next smartwatch technology available to its competitors who also use Google Inc’s mobile platform Android, hoping to increase its share of the market, which is now dominated by Apple Inc .

The watch will be available as of October, it said at an event in Berlin tied to the IFA, Europe’s largest consumer electronics trade show.

Making the new smartwatches compatible with smartphones made by competitors could help sales for Samsung, which saw its market share shrink sharply following the launch of arch rival Apple’s Apple Watch.

Worldwide smartwatch shipments grew to 5 million in the second quarter of this year from 1 million in the same period last year, according to data of research firm Strategy Analytics.

“We are leading the way in this segment,” said Younghee Lee, Samsung’s global marketing head for mobile. “But we realise we can’t do it alone.”

Apple Watch captured a 75 percent global smartwatch market share, followed by Samsung with an 8 percent share.

Samsung launched its new watch on Monday. The Gear S2 comes with mobile payment technology just like Apple’s Watch.

Samsung did not give a price tag for the watch.

(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

 Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.


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