HTC confirms plans to sell wearable device this year

Troubled handset maker’s chairwoman tells Bloomberg she expects the release will help turn around the company’s sliding fortunes.

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HTC plans to begin selling a wearable device by the end of the year, HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang told Bloomberg, confirming long-standing rumors that the troubled handset maker would jump into the wearable computing fray.

“Many years ago we started looking at smartwatches and wearables, but we believe that we really have to solve the battery problems and the LCD light problems,” Wang said in an interview conducted Tuesday. “These are customer-centric problems.”

The account of the interview offered no specifics on what consumers could expect or when. CNET has contacted HTC for more information and will update this report when we learn more.

HTC CEO Peter Chou told the Financial Times last October that the wearable technology market is “a critical segment for us” but that he wasn’t sure the time is right to jump into the space. One report held that the company was already working on a smartwatch that would snap pics

In addition to Apple’s much-rumored interest in the market, HTC will be going up against the likes of rival Samsung, which jumped into the wearable market in September with its camera-equipped Galaxy gear smartwatch. Other players already in the market include the Pebble Watch, Sony SmartWatch 2, and FitBit Force

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