Ready, set, go!

Let the smartwatch war begin…

Put your Rolex aside. Rumor has it that all three tech giants, Apple, Google and Samsung, will compete for first place in the smartwatch market race.

But wait a minute; while they appear nowhere near the starting line, a new startup by the name of Pebble Technology made a smartwatch debut on July 7th. The tech giants may be late to their own party as Pebble rains on their parade.

With so many smartwatches coming to the market, we used clearCi’s competitive intelligence software to hunt down information consumers must have to make their own choice. clearCi shows there’s no need for rumors or long wait. The current leader of the competition is Pebble smartwatch, which is now on sale for $150 at local Best Buy stores.

So how does it work?

Pebble connects to both iPhones and Android smartphones using Bluetooth, setting off alerts about incoming calls, emails and messages. The device also has a GPS feature, plays music already stored in your phone, and is water-resistant.

If you are not sure which color to get, that’s not a problem. Pebble can change color instantly, thanks to its outdoor-readable electronic-paper, which makes it one of a kind.

For those who put away their watches and use their smartphones to tell time, perhaps these devices make you reconsider wearing watches again, but this time smartwatches.

Apple Inc. – iWatch

On the other side of the battle ring is Apple Inc. with their highly speculated iWatch. Even though very little is known about the device, it’s definitely in development, since they have been filing trademarks and patents left and right.

clearCi found the following patents:

Last week, Bloomberg reported that Apple attempted to trademark “iWatch” in Japan. Yes, we get it Apple; you like to name your products with an “i” in front of them, or at least stop other companies from doing so (iPhone, iPad, so it’s only right to call it an iWatch; how creative!)

Earlier this year, Apple was also granted a patent for an integrated touch sensor along with solar assembly. This technology gives Apple the ability to make a touch screen iWatch powered by sunlight.

Other patents filed include a bendable touch screen device and curved batteries. Will Apple’s watch be touchscreen? That’s for sure. But we still don’t know if it’ll be solar light dependent, or if it will be round or rectangular. Despite the hype, the smartwatch hasn’t been confirmed by Apple yet.

Perhaps Apple has it all figured it out and they’re just being secretive about it. Who knows? It wouldn’t be the first time.

Google – Nameless as of now

As if Google Glass wasn’t enough, the Internet hulk is now focusing on a smartwatch as well.

And, believe it or not, clearCi found that Google might have an advantage over Apple. How? It’s simple: Motorola made a smartwatch known as the Motorola MotoACTV, which Google can use as a puppet since they own Motorola. Perfect! No starting from scratch for Google.

The Motorola MotoACTV smartwatch can display incoming messages, calls, and social media status updates when paired with your smartphone. It also has separate features like a GPS, scorekeeper, step tracker, and built-in MP3 player.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Google’s smartwatch would run on Android. And since Google likes to keep it in the family, we wouldn’t be surprise if the watch married well to Google search engines, Gmail, YouTube, Google+, among other Google services.

Samsung – Samsung Gear

The third tech contestant in the smartwatch race is good ol’ Samsung, which is also speculated to enter the smartwatch market.

clearCi found that Samsung filed a trademark for “Samsung Gear” earlier this week, which suggests that the big tech company could also be working on a smartwatch.

The device could operate as a companion for your phone or tablet, communicating data between devices.
“We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them,” said Lee Young Hee, Executive Vice President of Samsung’s Mobile Business back in March, in an interview with Bloomberg.

But let’s not waste time on potential competitors, and consider where Pebble could take the market as leader. In the end, it’s up to consumers to decide.

The questions is: which one would you use? An iWatch, Google Smartwatch, Samsung Gear or Pebble Smartwatch? clearCi will continue to monitor which company is winning the competitive race in the smartwatch market.