Pre-WWDC health event shows that Samsung even copies Apple’s conference dates

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In a blatant attempt to steal Apple’s thunder, Samsung has announced a conference to take place on May 28 — promising to kick start “a new conversation around health.”

Why is this stepping on Apple’s toes?

Because the very next week is Apple’s eagerly-anticipated Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) — where Apple is expected to introduce the first stages of its new health-tracking family of innovations, beginning with the Healthbook feature for iOS 8, and likely to later expand to include the iWatch.

While it is not clear what Samsung plans to unveil as part of its “new conversation,” Engadget (who received the above invite) note that is came from Samsung’s Semiconductor arm, so could be about forthcoming sensors and components, rather than, for example, Fit Version 2.

Apple has shown itself to be increasingly interested in health-tracking. Earlier in 2014, the company published a patent detailing possible future earphones capable of monitoring biometric information, such as body temperature, perspiration rate, and heart rate.

Another recent patent related to a smart pedometer, able to be incorporated into a potential wristwatch without losing accuracy.

Apple has also made various hires in the medical biosensor field, such as bringing aboard Marcelo Malini Lamego, the former CTO of Cercacor — a Californian medical device company involved with the development of non-invasive patient monitoring technologies, including sensors.

While success in the fitness wearables sector is by no means guaranteed (as Nike’s recent abandonment of its FuelBand product line shows), Samsung’s attempts to snatch press away from WWDC demonstrates again just how keen the South Korean company is to beat Apple to the punch.

Because bringing a smartwatch to market ahead of Apple worked out so well for Samsung!

  • Grunt_at_the_Point

    Lets take a trip down memory Lane, October 2012.The week before Microsoft launched its Windows RT tablet, Apple launched its updated iPad. Microsoft had announced the launch date well before Apple announced the update to the iPad. I remember the discussion back then the iPad launch before the Windows RT launch was intentional to take some of the spotlight off of the RT. So, author, Apple ins’t a saint.

    • aardman

      The point is more, if you’re going to upstage a competitor, you better do it with a better product and not a hurriedly designed, jerrybuilt, slap-dash POS that everyone knows you cobbled together at the last minute just to be able to say ‘First!’

      • Adam Marr

        No, I think the point is that apple is now just content following trends instead of innovating. A smaller tablet, a bigger phone, a possible watch, and now health integration? They build good hardware, but let’s not pretend anything they are doing anymore is unique, and it has been a long time since they’ve been able to say “first”

      • Cold_dead_fingers

        The reason why it’s been so long since they’ve been able to say first is because whenever rumor comes out that they’re interested in an area, the copiers immediately through together cheap products. Just look at the Galaxy Gear and other smartwatches. But see what happens when the iWatch comes out. It’ll be the most popular watch on the market.

      • Adam Marr

        So we turn to delusion now? It will be the most popular because apple will build in support so that users do not have any other competing options, unlike what you see on the other side of the playing field, which tends to be much more open. And sorry, apple’s interest in this area came after wearables started to appear. But hey, believe whatever makes you feel better. I have no skin in this game, I own both apple (mbp & ipad) and samsung (gs3, ativ 9+) and motoX and google (nexus 7) (etc) products. I just think its funny how how the “samsung is copying us” headlines dominate these sites, when apple has been in the copy game since the beginning, and right now its pretty much their only game, lets get real.

      • Kr00

        Did samescum ever pay for the innovation they’ve stolen from their competitors? Show me where Apple have stolen ideas right from under the nose of a competitor? (Keeping in mind that Xerox was remunerated for their PARC project, a project which Xerox decided had no merit) Also, google patent law suits against samsung and you will see the number of businesses they have stolen from and with such arrogance taken it all the way to court, only to lose. Samescum are not a company with any principles or morals. Why else have their CEO’s and board members been convicted of bribing public officials, judges, and politicians? Haven’t seen Apple do that, have you?
        ,

        Samescum hide their child labour behind close doors and refuse unions or inspectors to see what they’re doing, in direct violation of the UN treaty. They post shipped items as sales, when warehouse are filled with unsold stock, they browbeat suppliers to NOT sell components to their competitors. They fix the telecommunications market in many countries by dumping cheap subsidised phones everywhere, just to undermine Apple, and they lie in court when evidence proves they deliberately lifted ideas from Apple, and others. Good luck putting your trust in that kind of business. Dealing with the mafia would have better ethics around it.

      • Kr00

        If you think changing the size of a device is innovation, you have pretty low expectations. Unlike samescum, Apple don’t fiddle around the edges with their technology. They have changed the game in so many areas. Name something innovative samescum has released, a game changing device or way of doing something? …………….. You can’t because they don’t innovate, they have always copied their competitors, just ask Dyson, Sony, Nokia, Blackberry, Motorola and the list goes on. One company cannot design hundreds of new and varying devices in all areas of electrical and technology, unless they take their blueprints from someone else. It’s just impossible for one company to do this from scratch.

        As for a watch, the talk has been around for at least 3 years about Apple and an iWatch. With such expectation, wouldn’t you expect someone else to beat them to the punch? If so, where is this game changing watch? My guess is Apple have crunched the numbers and have decided it won’t change how things are done and won’t bother with it.

        As for firsts, a biometric fingerprint scanner in a phone isn’t a first? 64 bit processor in a mobile device isn’t a first? The “Find My device’ service isn’t a first? Retina display tablets? SSD only laptops? Have you even used an Apple device?

      • Adam Marr

        Yes, I own a MBP and an iPad. And if you think size doesn’t matter just ask the late Steve Jobs his strong opinion on small-form-factor tablets (and then a few years later, surprise). I think the solid sales of phones like the note and 7/8 inch tablets show you that size does matter to many people. If you think any of those things you mentioned above was an apple first, including the fingerprint scanner, you’re quite the small-world village dolt. Maybe 64 bit mobile, but that is not even all that useful yet or innovative really, as it was going to happen regardless. Apple builds nice hardware – don’t get me wrong, and tends to know where demand will be before others (well… they USED to) however nothing they released was really all that original. There were phones that looked more or less like the iphone prior to its release, there were tablets before the ipad, and there had been “smart phones” for years. Apple just stripped them down for dummies. Not that that is a bad thing, most people are not technical and want a simple device, but that is really their only innovation. Mobile Tech for the simple-folk. And I guess you don’t read much outside of this site, but iWatch talk was around because others had started releasing and working on wearable tech and watches. Please show me a feature they’ve added to iOS in the last 2-3 years that wasn’t basically a direct take from android or android skin. And most of the time they add a half-baked version of the android feature.

    • Mark Langston

      At this stage in the game I think it’s abundantly clear that the launch/announcement of Surface and the horrid sales and poor adoption rate had absolutely nothing to do with when Apple introduced the iPad.

      Besides, historically other companies are more likely to trump Apple press conferences than vice versa.

      • Grunt_at_the_Point

        Surface after the fact sales stats has nothing to do with the two (Microsoft & Apple) tablet launch dates in 2012. Apple could have allowed Microsoft to have its day in the sun. But it did not. I’m not saying Apple necessarily did anything wrong. My point is Apple is not above pulling the same stunt as Samsung.

      • Kr00

        If you check your facts, Microsoft actually brought forward their announcement of the surface, because if you remember, it was to have been in December, right in line with the release. Ballmer was worried that Apple would get all the press of a new iPad and the pre christmas sales. Needless to say it failed miserably.

        If you think for a second that Apple would worry about what MS were doing, when they’ve been doing it successfully for years prior and MS being 3 years behind the game, you’re deluding yourself? Apple don’t care what the market does, but the others do.

        Good attempt at a straw man argument, but it has no legs.

  • moofer

    Let’s see them copy WWDC’s attendance…

  • balexandre

    I’m no designer, but their billboard is just terrible… or it’s just me? seems like those flyers you get when you stop in traffic :/

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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