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A Samsung watch to make calls, surf the Net

TOKYO — Samsung Electronics Co. plans to introduce a wristwatch in September that can make phone calls, play video games, and send e-mails, potentially beating its archrival, Apple Inc., to market with a piece of technology that moves mobile communications beyond the smartphone.

A person briefed on the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity because the plans were not public, said the watch, called Samsung Galaxy Gear, would be shown off “around the time” of an electronics industry trade fair in Berlin that begins Sept. 6.

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Samsung has scheduled a Sept. 4 media event at which it is also expected to introduce Note III, a new version of its “phablet,” a cross between a phone and a tablet.

Neither Galaxy Gear nor the iWatch will be the first watch phone on the market. Sony recently introduced a second-generation version of its Smart Watch, a gadget that works in conjunction with a smartphone in the user’s pocket. Other smart devices like the Pebble Watch and the I’m Watch have also been sold for some time.

For Samsung, the idea is also not entirely new. The company introduced its first watch phone in 1999. Still, the category of smart watches remains underdeveloped, as none of the existing devices has captured the imagination of consumers.

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