'Gear Solo' may be a standalone Samsung smartwatch that makes calls

Now that's more like it

Samsung Gear 2

One of the main weaknesses of the current crop of smartwatches is that they rely too much on wearers' smartphones, but leave it Samsung to potentially have a solution.

The company has reportedly applied to trademark the term "Gear Solo" with the Korean IP Office, and word is that will be the name of a standalone smartwatch with its own USIM.

The Gear Solo will be a variant of the Gear 2, like the Gear Fit or Gear 2 Neo, but will be able to make and receive calls on its own, according to Patently Apple.

The site notes an unspecified "Korean news source" who said Samsung and SK Telecom are currently prepping the Gear Solo for release.

Leave your phone home

A standalone smartwatch that doesn't need to sync with a smartphone could be a powerfully attractive gadget if it means users can leave their phones at home (or ditch them entirely).

But while it's a fact that Samsung filed for "Gear Solo" with the Korean trademark office, many of these details - including the device's final branding - are up in the air.

According to another source within SK Telecom, the Gear Solo may release first in Korea, though a wider launch will likely follow.

iWatch Spy

Meanwhile Patently Apple also reports that Apple is still working on the long-rumored but never-seen iWatch.

The president of the watches and jewelry division of the luxury brand LVMH (Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton) apparently caught Apple recently attempting to poach employees from him to work on Cupertino's own wrist wear.

But as the site points out, there's no indication that wearables are a priority for Apple. In any case whatever Apple introduces in this space - if it ever deigns to do so - will provide some stiff competition to anything Samsung has or will put on the market.

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