iwatch prototype Microsoft joins Apple, Samsung and Sony in smartwatch race [Rumor]

Microsoft is rumored to also have a “watch-style device” in the works.  This latest bits only adds to the already growing speculation that “smartwatch” is the next big thing in consumer tech.

According to WSJ, Microsoft has contacted its supplier in Asia to obtain some components that may fit in with what the Redmond-based company has in mind for their version of a smartwatch.  The rumor is still fresh off the tongue of the sources, so it’s very unlikely that there is an actual concept or prototype of a Microsoft smartwatch.

Nevertheless, the addition of Microsoft into the smartwatch race should make things a lot more interesting as major firms like Apple and Samsung have both either confirmed or also rumored to be in the process of developing a computerized wrist wear.

While Apple is notorious for not spilling any bits about what’s going on in the lab, Samsung isn’t so stingy about their product development.

Samsung sw Microsoft joins Apple, Samsung and Sony in smartwatch race [Rumor]

“We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” said Lee Young Hee, an exec for Samsung’s mobile division. “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.”

With all the news about smartwatches circulating, it’s easy to forget that another tech juggernaut has also thrown in its bid for a piece of the next-gen pie.  Sony released its own smartwatch several months back, and although the Japanese’s smart wrist wear didn’t catch fire like it would’ve wanted it to, it only goes to show that a very heated battle for market share has already begun.

It is also worth noting that some startups have already gained some traction in the smartwatch business, with Pebble being one of the most highly publicized.  The crowdfunded Pebble watch costs $150, and is essentially an add-on to smartphones instead of a standalone computer.  Hence, it is speculated that Apple and company are attempting to cram as much smartphone features into a watch as they can, and, therefore, shifting consumer interests from smartphones to “smartwatches.”