Better late than never.
As CES 2017 winds down, Samsung is making good on a promise it made at CES 2016: It’s releasing an iOS app for its Gear smartwatches so they’ll work with the iPhone.
Samsung said almost exactly year ago that it would bring iOS compatibility to its latest smartwatch, the Gear S2, and it’s since debuted a newer, thicker model, the Gear S3. Both watches will work with the new app, simply called Gear S.
When it initially announced the move, Samsung said it would happen before the end of 2016. The smartwatch market has cooled since then, however — the market has been in decline for months, with market research firm IDC reporting in October that overall smartwatch sales down by over 50 percent.
Shortly after, Pebble, the startup that jump-started the smartwatch category back in 2012, was acquired by Fitbit, essentially ending its product line.
Nevertheless, the Apple Watch and several Android Wear watches are still around (although the latter has had setbacks, with a major software update pushed back to early 2017), so the category is far from dead.
Clearly, the remaining players need any edge they can get to achieve some kind of success, and Samsung — like Google before it — must think compatibility with the world’s most popular smartphone, even if it’s made by a bitter rival, couldn’t hurt.