THE NEWS WRAP: Samsung unveils Galaxy Gear smartwatch

Samsung has unveiled its new Galaxy Gear smartwatch ahead of the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin.


The device features a 1.63-inch (4.14-cm) display along with a camera, and uses Bluetooth to connect to a user’s smartphone, ever when the phone is in their pocket or bag.


The device includes the ability to make calls, display messages, record videos and snap photos, with the company claiming battery life of 27 hours under normal usage.


“We had smartwatch-type products before, but they were mainly for making phone calls. What’s different with the Gear is it’s got far more useful functions. Its usability has increased significantly and design is not bulky,” Samsung’s co-chief executive and head of mobile JK Shin says.


Robust auto sales drive US economy forward


US auto sales grew by 17% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 16.1 million units, beating analysts’ expectations.


The figure is a strong sign for the US economy, representing the fastest growth rate since October 2007 and beating analysts’ expectations of 15.8 million units.


Moody’s Analytics senior economist Ryan Sweet told Reuters the figure is good news for the US economy.


“With vehicle sales above 16 million (and) a slow but steadily improving job market, the Fed is going to feel comfortable tapering in September,” Sweet says.


Packer’s US property portal play


Gaming tycoon James Packer has purchased a 6.6% stake in US-based real estate portal Zillow.


“I am not in this for a quick profit. I believe in the Zillow model and that real estate may well be the best vertical,” Packer told The Australian.


“And in a market the size of the US, winning in real estate will have big rewards.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up to 14930.87. The Aussie dollar is down to US91.66 cents.


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