Apple Ring Rumors Gather Pace Ahead of Samsung Galaxy Ring Launch

Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the time could be ripe for Apple to follow it with a device that embodies CEO Tim Cook's mantra, "be best, not first."

samsung ring

Samsung Galaxy Ring

The emerging smart ring category is currently led by Oura Ring, first released by Finnish health technology company Oura back in 2015. The device collects activity, heart rate, respiratory rate, and sleep data, and transmits it via Bluetooth to the Oura app. Now in its third-generation, the device can also measure body temperature and menstrual cycle, and the battery is said to last for a week on a single charge.

In March 2022, Oura announced that it had sold more than one million rings, but its latest incarnation has come in for criticism after the company introduced a $5.99 monthly subscription fee that put certain aspects of user data behind a paywall.

In January 2024, Samsung teased its latest wearable device, the Galaxy Ring. Rumors suggest it will be released in August alongside Samsung's next round of folding phones. Besides its rumored ability to measure blood flow, the Galaxy Ring is also expected to feature ECG monitoring, sleep tracking, and functionalities for controlling other devices and making wireless payments remotely. The device is expected to come in several sizes.

According to one Korean report, the accuracy of the Galaxy Ring's measurements are superior to the company's own watch, and it will also provide users with recovery and readiness metrics – two things Apple Watch currently does not offer. Will Apple reply with its own smart device for your finger?

iRing Incoming?

According to one rumor, Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track in-depth health biometrics. Korea's Electronic Times reported in February 2024 that Apple has been paying close attention to the market for signs that a smart ring would be a popular, less intrusive alternative to a watch, that can be worn for longer and is easier to sleep with.

Apple is said to be seriously weighing up the idea as a viable expansion of its wearables lineup, and has been increasingly applying for patents related to an NFC-enabled finger-worn device as it coordinates the timing of the release. "It seems likely that commercialization is imminent," said an industry insider quoted in the report.

According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, Apple's industrial design team has presented the idea of a "smart ring" focused on health and fitness features to executives on the company's health team. Gurman said the ring could be a lower-cost alternative to the Apple Watch that could sync health and fitness data with a paired iPhone. However, he said Apple is not actively developing the finger-worn device at this time, so it currently remains unclear if it will be released in the near-term, if indeed ever.

Tag: Samsung

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