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Watch out, Apple! Samsung's been planning a smart watch 'for so long'

We've heard rumors that Apple's quietly working on a smart watch, but we now know that Samsung is doing the same.

“We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “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.”

No details were offered when it comes to the features, price, or release date of the gadget, but a previous report by Reuters said that a "source with direct knowledge of the matter" claims that Samsung's smart watch "will perform many of the tasks of a smartphone."

In the meantime, "people familiar with the company's explorations" told the New York Times' Nick Bilton that Apple's working on "wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass." These devices would run on iOS, Apple's mobile operating system, and likely make some of our favorite Dick Tracy (or James Bond) fantasies come true.

Considering that Samsung and Apple have been neck and neck when it comes to U.S. smartphone sales — Samsung trounced the Cupertino-based company in worldwide shipments — this new chapter in their rivalry is going to be worth our attention.

Samsung sold 100 million Galaxy S-series phones by early January, two years and seven months after the first Galaxy S-series device launched. At that time, the Galaxy S 3 continued selling at a rate of 190,000 phones per day. In comparison, Apple managed to sell 100 million iPhones by March 2011, about four years after the original iPhone launched. Samsung just announced the Galaxy S 4 last week and Apple is expected to announce the next-generation iPhone later in the year. No other smartphone maker comes close to either of these two companies in sales momentum.

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