It's On! The Smartwatch Cold War

How quickly a story can evolve. It was only two months ago that Benzinga reported that an Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) iWatch (or smartwatch or whatever it's called) probably existed.

And here's the rub: It's still just a rumor. There's no factory leaking images and although Apple has taken a little more of a liking to the press as of late, the corporate lips are sealed too!

But that hasn't stopped this story from heating up. It's taken on viral proportions-kind of like that kid that asked Kate Upton to his high school prom through YouTube this week and she said yes! Lucky kid.

CNET is reporting that now Google (NASDAQ: GOOG ) is developing a smartwatch of it's own. Apparently the folks charged with making Android cool are running low on work because they're the ones designing the watch rather than the X lab division-the unit that designs hardware. (Like that Back to the Future-style Google Glass thing.)

Then there's Samsung, a company that actually admits (through an anonymous source, of course) to developing something smartwatch-ish. The company is making a "device" that is wearable and could perform many of the functions of its phones.

That's not all. There are plenty of watch-like products already on the market. CNET describes devices like the Cookoo Watch, the "I'm Watch" (yes, that's it's name), and the Martian Passport smartwatch.

Although not an actual smartwatch, there's also the Nike (NYSE: NKE ) Fuelband that tracks calories, tracks blood pressure, and more. There are even rumors that Nike and Apple may team up to develop the iFuel (name made up for comic relief)-the game changing superwatch that everybody's waiting for.

And if you think that this is all a bunch of malarkey, on March 14-16, there was a smartwatch summit held in Hong Kong. According to the press release prior to the event, Tom Rapko founder of Sensorstream commented, "I think this is going to be a dynamic opportunity for many smart watch suppliers, integrators and software developers to finally meet under one roof to discuss where the smart watch industry is right now, and more importantly, how the market might evolve over the coming years."

What's the deal with the smartwatch? Why have tech companies suddenly decided that this is the next big thing? Probably because it could be a $6 billion business according to some estimates. Whoever wins the race (or the war) and markets the watch that everybody has to have, is going to make some major bank.

Others will send their watch to the technology graveyard alongside the laser disk, 3D glasses and pretty much anything made by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) these days.

(c) 2013 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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