We already know that Android Wear, Google's upcoming smartwatch platform, is going to have a big presence at the upcoming Google I/O developer conference. Both Motorola and LG are planning to announce Android Wear watches at some point in the near-future, and the conference seems like an ideal place to do it. A new report from CNet says that Samsung is also looking to get in on the fun, and that it plans to announce and Android Wear-based watch next week as well. This would be Samsung's third major smartwatch launch in less than a year, following the Galaxy Gear in September of 2013 and the Tizen-based Gear 2 and Gear Fit watches back in February.
CNet's sources say that Samsung is testing versions of the watch that use the company's own Exynos chips (as all of the current Gear watches do), and another version using Qualcomm's chips. The report doesn't say which version of the watch will ultimately be announced and released.
If you think Samsung might be worried about an Android Wear watch cannibalizing sales of the Gear and Gear Fit watches, you haven't considered Samsung's spaghetti-wall approach to product development. The company is more than content to iterate constantly and quickly, waiting just a few months between releases in an effort to find a sales success. Samsung theoretically stands to benefit if it can succeed with its own OS (Tizen, developed together with Intel and others) rather than one controlled by Google, but ultimately whatever software sells more units is the one that the company will choose to go with.
The funny thing about an Android Wear-based Samsung watch is that the first Galaxy Gear used a heavily-skinned custom build of Android before the Gear 2 and Gear Fit watches jumped to Tizen. This won't just be Samsung's third watch announcement in the last calendar year—it would also be the third time that the company had entirely changed software platforms. We'll be on the floor at Google I/O next week to cover any and all hardware and software announcements.