Just the rumor of Apple breaking into a new product category is enough to send competitors scurrying to offer alternatives, even without any confirmation that such an Apple device is forthcoming. But, based on the company's stunning past success, you can't blame those companies for hedging their bets. That's why Sony's rush to launch its new SmartWatch 2 this week should come as no surprise.
The Sony SmartWatch 2 looks very similar to the original version launched last year, which might be its first mistake when you consider that hardly anyone seemed very excited by that product's debut. Sony touts the new version as being the first smartwatch with NFC, a functionality that will likely be quite useful for its Japanese users well acquainted with the dynamic, but of less use in the U.S. where the technology has struggled to gain traction among consumers. Aside from its heavy integration with Android and ability to make phone calls (key features of the first version), the updated device is also water resistant and comes with an improved display.
In addition to the smartwatch, Sony used its spolight at the Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai to take the wraps off what it calls a mini handset. With a brand name made for instant mainstream success (when will Sony learn?), the SBH52 is actually a pretty cool looking Bluetooth device that allows you to use it like a tiny chewing gun-sized phone and music player.
No pricing information has been revealed on either device, but the company says the smartwatch will be available sometime this September.