UPDATED 08:11 EST / MARCH 19 2013

Samsung Reveals Plans for Apple iWatch Competitor

In today’s mobile news roundup: Samsung building iWatch competitor; Leaked LG Nexus 5 images; LG may sue Samsung for Eye Tracking feature; Nokia wins patent infringement case against HTC; AT&T’s new bank breaking shared plans; and T-Mobile’s March 26 event.

Samsung building iWatch competitor

If Apple is in fact being secretive regarding the iWatch, Samsung is using this to its advantage.  A Samsung executive announced that a smart wristwatch has long been in the works.

“We’ve been preparing the watch product for so long,” Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business, said in an interview with Bloomberg.  “We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.”

Though Lee did not divulge specifics for the features, price and release date, the announcement makes it seem like the product could be released in time for Apple’s anticipated iWatch release, or even sooner.  The two have long battled for dominance and the fact that Samsung announced plans for a wearable computing device means that the company is covering every area Apple eyes.

Leaked LG Nexus 5 images

An anonymous, source claiming to work at Google, leaked images if an upcoming Nexus smartphone from LG.  The LG Nexus 5 is said to feature a 5.2″ OLED Display with 1920×1080 resolution, making the device fall in the phablet category, Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 @ 2.3 GHz, 3GB LPDDR3 RAM, 16MP rear camera by OmniVision (4k video recording @30FPS, 1080p video recording @60FPS, Real Time HDR & HDR video recording, optical image stabilization, BSI 2.0), 2.1MP front camera (1080p video recording @30FPS), available in 16/32/64GB of internal storage, 3300 mAh Lithium Polymer battery, Front positioned stereo speakers, Qualcomm RF360 (LTE 150 Mbps & HSPA+), Integrated DVB-T / ATSC-antenna, Gesture like controls (navigation, zoom, etc) which puts it in par with the Samsung Galaxy SIV.

Many are doubtful on the validity of this leak, since Google and LG recently teamed up for the Nexus.  Some are saying that it’s highly unlikely for Google to pick the same company in succession for a next flagship device.

LG may sue Samsung for Eye Tracking feature

LG is anticipating the release of the Samsung Galaxy SIV next month to check if the device infringes its patent for eye tracking.  The LG Optimus G Pro has a feature called Smart Video wherein a video pauses and plays if the user’s eyes are watching the screen.  The Galaxy SIV has the same feature called Smart Pause.  Samsung stated that it did not infringe LG’s patents claiming that it developed its own technology and used different methods for its implementations.

Nokia wins patent infringement case against HTC

Nokia won a patent infringement case against HTC in Germany’s Mannheim Regional Court today.  The court ruled that HTC infringed Nokia’s patent for “saving battery life by identifying packets of data that can reconstructed through the use of only a part of an encoded message.”

Nokia was awarded a permanent injunction which can be implemented by posting a $6.5 million bond, and the Finnish company can request the Taiwanese company to recall all infringing products.

The infringing devices are the HTC Wildfire S, Desire S, and Rhyme which the company no longer imports to Germany which downplays the Nokia victory.  Though the court’s decision may no longer be relevant since HTC is no longer importing the infringing devices to Germany, HTC plans to file an appeal.

Nokia was pleased with the court’s decision and stated that,  “HTC must now respect our intellectual property and compete using its own innovations.”

For the full recap of today’s top stories, see this morning’s NewsDesk roundup with Kristin Feledy.

AT&T’s new bank-breaking, shared data plans

AT&T rolled out three new shared data plans that could make your eyes pop out and your wallet slim down.  The new Mobile Share packages are directed at data-hungry consumers offering 30GB, 40GB, and 50GB for $300, $300, and $500 a month, and includes unlimited talk and text for each plan.  The problem is, you’ll be paying $30 for each device you add to the plan.  Business can add up to 10 devices for plans up to 20 GB, 15 devices for the 30GB tier, 20 devices for 40 GB, and 25 devices for 50 GB plans.  There’s also a data-only option for the 50GB plan which costs $335.

T-Mobile’s March 26 event

T-Mobile is readying for an event on March 26 in New York where the company is expected to announce major changes for its technology and business.

“We’re still a wireless company,” T-Mobile’s invite stated.  “We’re just not going to act like one anymore.”

One of the major changes expected from T-Mobile is its focus on “value plans” instead of subsidizing phones for contract customers.  The company is also expected to announce the finalization of its merger with MetroPCS.  Also, T-Mobile is expected to be the first network to carry the next iPhone, which is expected to be released this year.

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