iPhone Wrist (Yrving Torrealba 002)

We’ve heard a lot of talk in recent months that Apple is working on a wristwatch-like device. And it could be ready to launch as soon as this year. We’ve also seen some alleged leaked screenshot images that suggest Samsung is working on a similar product.

Tonight, Bloomberg is out with a new report that adds significant weight to both rumors, claiming that not only are both companies preparing wearable devices that perform similar functions as smartphones, but they’re both racing to get them to market…

From Bloomberg’s Jungah Lee:

“Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) is developing a wristwatch as Asia’s biggest technology company races against Apple Inc. (AAPL) to create a new industry of wearable devices that perform similar tasks as smartphones.

“We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, said during an interview in Seoul. “We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.”

Although there was no indication of what features the watch might have, or what its price will be, the fact that a Samsung executive confirmed that the company is working on one is interesting. You’d never hear an Apple exec talk about future product plans.

But you can bet that if Samsung is working on one, Apple is too. In anticipation of the inevitable saturation of the handset market, both companies are looking for other product lines. And if that’s not enough proof the iWatch is real, Bloomberg reiterates it:

“Apple seeks to introduce its wristwatch device as soon as this year, said one of the people familiar, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.

The features under consideration by the Cupertino, California-based company include letting users make calls, see the identity of incoming callers and check map coordinates, one of the people said. It would also house a pedometer for counting steps and sensors for monitoring health-related data, such as heart rates, this person said.”

Previous reports claimed that Apple has a team of over 100 designers working on the wristwatch-like device. It’s said to run a reworked version of iOS, and the company is looking to get its battery life up to 4-5 days, although it’s been struggling to get it past 2 or 3.

Keep an eye on this space because it’s about to get really interesting. Both Samsung, with its S Health software, and Apple, with the likes of Jony Ive in its corner, have the abilities and the resources to do some impressive things with smartphone-connected watches.

What are your thoughts here? What would you like to see as far as smartwatches from these two tech giants?