By Todd Bernhard on Tue, 02/25/2014
It might not be Apple news, but at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung unleashed a ton of news that will certainly impact Apple. While Apple has yet to release an "iWatch" (if you don't count the 4th generation iPad nano, which I sometimes wear as a watch) Samsung is already on the second version of their Samsung Gear. One of the biggest complaints about the Gear was it only worked with one particular Samsung device, the Galaxy Note 3, and not other Android phones or the iPhone. Now, the Gear 2 works with more Samsung devices. Samsung also announced a lighter version without the camera, dubbed the Gear 2 Neo, as well as the Galaxy Fit, a sleeker model that focuses on health and fitness, and can work standalone or with your Samsung devices. In an about face, the Gear 2 watches no longer run Android but instead run Samsung's own Tizen operating system, and the Gear Fit uses an undisclosed O.S. to make the battery last even longer.
Samsung may be ahead of Apple in the wearables category, but they are just now adding a fingerprint reader. But in an attempt to leapfrog Apple, you can do more with the reader, such as pay for items via PayPal integration. This would be a welcome addition from Apple, especially since Apple doesn't support NFC (Near Field Communication.)
They say "the rich get richer" but with Samsung, the large screen gets larger, as their latest "phablet" offers a 5.1-inch AMOLED screen. Apple took a while to go from 3.5-inches to 4-inches so they have a lot of catching up to do, should they decide to follow suit. Similarly, while the Apple iPhone is the most popular camera in use worldwide, the iPhone 5S 8 megapixel camera is getting lapped. Samsung now offers a 16 megapixel camera with the Samsung Galaxy S5.
As Steve used to say, there's One More Thing. The Galaxy S5 can be exposed to dust and submerged in water for up to three feet! Now that's a feature I'd love to have Apple adopt. Competition is good, and Apple can learn a lot from Samsung. After all, Samsung learned a lot from Apple, so turnabout is fair play!