Another major mobile player could be set to join the smartwatch race in the shape of chip producer Qualcomm, which has just filed a trademark for a device called the Qualcomm TOQ.
Up to now Qualcomm has made its name supplying integrated chipsets for most of the major smartphone manufacturers, including Samsung, HTC, Nokia and BlackBerry. But a US Patent and Trademark Office filed on June 26 suggests that it’s planning something a little different.
The Qualcomm TOQ is described as a “Personal communication hub in the form of a wristwatch; portable electronic devices for transmitting and reviewing text, data, image, and audio files; hands free devices for mobile phones; battery chargers.”
It would be highly unusual for the American semiconductor giant to step into the final product market – even if it was a relatively new product category such as the smartwatch. This might lead some to believe that Qualcomm was simply preparing for production of the chips that power this new class of smart device, as it has done with smartphones.
However, this trademark filing is in line with rumours that Qualcomm is indeed planning to launch its own smartwatch. Reliable Twitter-based tipster @evleaks recently claimed that the Qualcomm ZOLA is an “own-brand smartwatch coming this September.”
If this does come to pass, Qualcomm won’t have it easy. Apple recently applied for a trademark of the iWatch name over in Japan, strengthening rumours that it has a 100-strong design team on the smartwatch case.
Now read our thoughts on the Kickstarter-funded Pebble smartwatch in our review.