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Asustek's next ZenWatch may come with one-week battery life

2015/01/24 22:17:48

Taipei, Jan. 24 (CNA) Taiwan's Asustek Computer Inc. hinted Saturday that its next smartwatch might come with a battery life of up to seven days, thanks to the adoption of simplified chipset and mobile operating system designs.

"The ZenWatch is defined by us as a companion of a smartphone, and we think it still has a lot of room for improvement," Asustek Chairman Jonney Shih told reporters at the company's year-end party.

"As a companion device, its central processing unit and operating system should be more simplified than the current version, so that I can use it for up to seven days on one charge, rather than for just two days," Shih said.

Asustek unveiled its first smartwatch, dubbed ZenWatch, just before the Sept. 5-10 IFA electronics trade show in Germany last year.

The waterproof watch features a 1.63-inch AMOLED touch display, a curved cover glass, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 1.2GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal memory, a 9-axis sensor and a battery life of up to two days.

The ZenWatch, which starts at NT$5,990 (US$192) in Taiwan, is powered by the Android Wear system, a version of Google Inc.'s popular Android operating system that is designed specifically for wearable devices.

At the launch of the first ZenWatch in Taiwan on Dec. 24, Asustek CEO Jerry Shen let slip that Asustek was planning a second generation ZenWatch for the third quarter of 2015, and that the upgraded device would offer a new level of independence from smartphones by allowing voice calls without being tethered to a handset.

The PC maker also intends to unveil two other "wristband-like" devices at a lower price, with health management features such as the ability to measure footsteps, heartbeat, pulse and blood sugar, Shen said, without elaborating on a timetable.

As smartphone vendors and component suppliers continue to expand into the wearables market, research firm Gartner Inc. has predicted that by 2016 smartwatches will comprise about 40 percent of consumer wrist-worn devices worldwide.

Gartner said in a report on September 2014 that nine of the top 10 smartphone vendors had already entered the wearables market or were about to ship a first product, compared with 2013 when there were only two vendors in that market.

(By Jeffrey Wu)