ZTE is planning to launch its own smartwatch in the second quarter of 2014, but it will only work with the company’s own smartphones.
It seems ZTE is the next company to formally jump on the smartwatch bandwagon and, like Samsung, will make it an exclusive companion for ZTE devices.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, ZTE’s head of handset marketing strategy Lu Qianhao said the smartphone manufacturer will launch the ZTE smartwatch in Q2 2014.
It will offer similar smartphone accessory based features as the Samsung Galaxy Gear, but will come with a cheaper price tag to appeal to the budget-conscious Chinese consumers.
“We are focusing on the mainstream market,” said Lu.
The Samsung Galaxy Gear retails for a whopping £299 in the UK, or can be bought as part of a bundle with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
The ZTE smartwatch, which currently has no official name, will be launched in Q1 2014, but won’t be available on the market until the second quarter.
Lu added that the company may release a second smartwatch in the future that offers wider Android compatibility, but that will not be included in the first model.
The company is also considering the possibilities with other wearable tech such as smart glasses and smartphone connected shoes for healthcare markets.
ZTE hopes a smartphone launch will help boost its position in the smartphone market, as its market share in China fell to 5 per cent in the third quarter from 10 per cent the same period last year.
“In the Chinese market, ZTE doesn’t have an obvious competitive advantage,” said Canalys analyst Nicole Peng, adding its brand recognition isn’t as strong among consumers as other Chinese manufacturers like Lenovo.
It isn’t clear whether the ZTE smartwatch will be available in UK when it is launched next year.
Next, read our Samsung Galaxy Gear vs Sony SmartWatch 2 comparison.