Ina Fried

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Qualcomm’s Toq Smartwatch a Few Ticks Behind Schedule

Qualcomm’s surprise entry into the smartwatch space is running a bit slow.

When the company announced the Toq smartwatch in September, it was aiming to ship the first watches by mid-October. That date has come and gone, but Qualcomm said it still hopes to have products available for the holidays.

Qualcomm didn’t give a specific new date for Toq (pronounced “tock”), but it seems like if it isn’t available by Black Friday, it will be hard to claim it as available for the holidays. In the meantime, both Sony’s SmartWatch 2 and Samsung’s Galaxy Gear (announced the same day as Toq) have started shipping, while Pebble just got a significant software update.

Of course, Qualcomm is using the Toq as much as an expression of what is possible using the company’s Mirasol display and other Qualcomm technologies as it is a product that the company expects to be a big commercial hit.

“We expect to make tens of thousands of these, not hundreds of thousands,” Qualcomm executive Rob Chandhok said in an interview at the time of the announcement. “A success, for us, looks like our partners picking up and running with this. Qualcomm isn’t turning into a consumer electronics company.”

Similar to the other smartwatches, the Toq is designed mainly to serve as a companion to a smartphone, delivering notifications and acting as a remote control. Toq, which is expected to sell for about $300, will work with various Android phones. A key differentiator is the Mirasol screen, which has some of the battery-sipping properties of E Ink while still offering a color display.

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