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Qualcomm Jumps on the Smartwatch Wagon

Microsoft, Apple and Google are planning their own devices


qualcomm-logoThe smartwatch market is getting awfully crowded, considering that it barely exists.

On Wednesday, chip-maker Qualcomm (QCOM) unveiled its own entry into the wrist-worn wearable computer segment, the Toq. A company executive was quick to point out that Qualcomm’s device didn’t signal plans to become a player in the consumer electronics business, but was meant as a technology demonstration instead, AllThingsD noted.

Samsung Files Patents for Galaxy Gear Smartwatch
Samsung Files Patents for Galaxy Gear Smartwatch

The Toq features a Mirasol display, which offers a an LCD-like color screen that has minimum power requirements. The smartwatch uses Bluetooth to connect with smartphones running Google‘s (GOOG) Android OS and includes Qualcomm’s own wireless charging technology.

According to the executive, Qualcomm only plans to make “tens of thousands of these, not hundreds of thousands.” It will use the Toq to promote the technology to other consumer electronics partners. Qualcomm expects to start selling the Toq next month for about $300.

Toq’s unveiling came the same day that Samsung unwrapped its Galaxy Gear smartwatch ahead of the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.

A number of other companies, including Microsoft (MSFT) and Google are said to be working on smartwatches of their own.

Apple (AAPL) is rumored to have assembled a team of 100 engineers and technicians, but is unlikely to release its smartwatch until next year.

Shares of Qualcomm rose modestly in Thursday morning trading.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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