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Qualcomm’s first foray into the smartwatch category with the Toq is now set to hit retail shelves on December 2nd. Qualcomm’s just issued press release announces a price tag of $349 along with the December release date.

With some definite sticker shock, it begs the question how and why Qualcomm is asking a price tag that exceeds even the Samsung Galaxy Gear, a device already said to be to high on the price scale. Qualcomm believes their “revolutionary” Mirasol display technology and it’s 1.55″ display more than justifies the price:

  • Developed for maximum efficiency and visibility
  • Always on, color touch screen
  • Enhanced visibility in bright sunlight
  • Uses substantially less power than LCD displays for superior battery performance

“The Toq smartwatch showcases key Qualcomm innovations, such as Mirasol always on low power display, AllJoyn interactions and WiPower LE wireless charging, that will define the emerging wearable category,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of Qualcomm. “Like a traditional watch, Toq displays information at a glance with no on/off switch. And paired with a smartphone to receive notifications and content, it allows the watch to seamlessly merge our physical and digital lives. Leveraging these and other industry-leading technologies, we and our partners will enable new product opportunities and consumer experiences.”

Can Qualcomm convince the world to purchase a device with a higher price point than that of Samsung’s own smartwatch or Sony’s SmartWatch2? Is Qualcomm’s “display changing technology” enough to convince customers to fork over the extra cash? These are good questions and we’ll certainly keep an eye on December 2nd along with initial feedback to the Toq smartwatch. Personally, I give Qualcomm at least one month before they introduce a significant price drop that is more in line with the competition.

The full press release follows:

Qualcomm Announces Availability of Qualcomm Toq Smartwatch

Smartwatch Technology Set to Transform Wearable Device Category

SAN DIEGO – November 18, 2013 – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc., will make its Qualcomm Toq™ (‘talk’) smartwatch available to consumers on Cyber Monday, December 2, 2013. Toq is compatible with Android™ smartphones* and features proprietary Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Inc.’s Qualcomm Mirasol™ display technology, providing an always-on experience with multiple days of battery life and visibility even in bright sunlight. Toq starts at $349.99 and will be available through toq.qualcomm.com.

“The Toq smartwatch showcases key Qualcomm innovations, such as Mirasol always on low power display, AllJoyn interactions and WiPower LE wireless charging, that will define the emerging wearable category,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and chief executive officer of Qualcomm. “Like a traditional watch, Toq displays information at a glance with no on/off switch. And paired with a smartphone to receive notifications and content, it allows the watch to seamlessly merge our physical and digital lives. Leveraging these and other industry-leading technologies, we and our partners will enable new product opportunities and consumer experiences.”

As previously announced, this limited edition smartwatch will leverage breakthrough technologies necessary to deliver compelling user experiences on wearable devices. Of note, Toq demonstrates the benefits of significant technologies, such as:
• Mirasol display technology – always on, always visible reflective display technology that utilizes ambient light to enable a crisp and clear viewing experience even in bright sunlight;
• Qualcomm WiPower™ LE technology – enables a hassle-free, true “drop and go” wireless charging experience; and
• Stereo Bluetooth audio experience – first truly wireless stereo headphones that sit outside the ear canal for all day comfort and wearability

Using Bluetooth® wireless technology, Toq allows consumers to accept/reject calls, view text messages and meeting alerts, and selectively receive notifications from their smartphone or AllJoyn-enabled devices directly from their wrist. Qualcomm will continue adding functionality to Toq through software upgrades. Consumers also will be armed with preloaded weather and stock applets from AccuWeather and E*TRADE. For more information about Qualcomm Toq, please visit http://toq.qualcomm.com.

*Android 4.0.3 and above, 4.3 Jelly Bean preferred

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