|An artist's impression of Samsung's new watch which will browse the internet, download apps – and tell the time|
SAMSUNG is set to beat biggest rival Apple to the punch by getting in first with a new smartwatch.
The South Korean company will launch a new watch that can browse the internet and make phone calls.
The gadget, to be called the Galaxy Gear, will be announced on September 4 in time for the largest annual technology trade fair in Europe – the IFA.
The smartwatch will run a version of the Google Android operating system and will be able to download apps, browse the web and send email. It can also be used as a phone.
The electronics giant is launching the device ahead of a similarly planned smartwatch from Apple, Samsung's biggest rival. Apple is said to have as many as 100 engineers working on developing its new smartwatch, which is expected to feature similar web- browsing and phone functions.
Samsung's new device is the latest in a series of launches aimed at 'wearable technology'. Health-conscious gadgets such as the wrist-borne Jawbone have created new markets for electronics manufacturers, which are seeing slower growth in the smartphone market as it reaches saturation point.
The global watch market is estimated to be worth €47bn this year.
Samsung will also unveil its latest high-end smartphone, the Galaxy Note 3. At 5.6 inches, the phone will have one of the largest screens on the market, marginally increasing on the 5.5-inch screen of its Galaxy Note 2 model. It is also set to have a stylus for writing digital notes, an improved camera, better power and more memory.
Samsung has recently extended its lead over Apple in the global smartphone market, according to industry trackers Strategy Analytics. Samsung now has a 33pc share of the world's smartphone market, compared with just 13pc for Apple.