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Samsung keeps the faith in wearable tech

Samsung has dismissed the threat to its smartwatch range from the Apple Watch, and has ramped up investment in the category, the head of its European operations told CNBC.

Apple said its long-awaited smartwatch would be released in April, but YH Eom, Samsung's European president, said the company was not worried about the competition from its U.S. rival.

"We don't have time to worry about…our competition. We are spending time to understand where the consumer trend is and what they want," Eom told CNBC in a phone interview from the company's European stakeholder event in Monaco.



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The South Korean electronics giant has already released six smartwatches, including the 3G-capable Gear S. But Eom said the company had no plans to take its foot off the gas pedal.

"The wearable market has a huge potential. So we are making heavy investment in R&D…. I would say a significant portion of our investment is around wearables and we will be ready in time to deal with the market trend," he said.

Smart wearable device shipments are expected to reach 116 million units in 2017 compared to the 17 million estimated last year, according to Juniper Research, with wrist wearables set to dominate.

Some doubt was cast over the viability of the space when Google said it was ending its current version of Glass. But products by Samsung, Apple and a number of other manufacturers highlight that other tech giants are not shying away from wearables.

Everything connected

Eom's comments came as Samsung unveiled a host of connected home products at its stakeholder event. Speaking to CNBC, the executive laid out his vision about how Samsung's smartphones and wearables would connect to these devices.

"We have a product roadmap for the next three years and we will bring more connectivity through our next product range… By 2020, we'd like to connect all of our products together," Eom, who recently took the job as Samsung's European chief, said.

Read MoreWhy Samsung could dominate Apple and Google in the smart home

Last August, Samsung acquired SmartThings, a platform which allows users to control devices through their mobile phones, in an effort to bolster its connected-home capabilities. Samsung has already released a number of internet-connected home appliances, such as fridges and washing machines, and is hoping to connect items like these to its smartwatches and smartphones.

"In Europe there are 18 different gadgets and appliances on average in a home and if we are connecting them…to bring additional benefit, it will be great. Our smartphone technology is clearly capable for us to be leading the connected home market," Eom told CNBC.

Samsung is ramping up investment in the smart-home space, but analysts said it needed to convince consumers of the value.

"I think there still are issues over the value proposition and that needs to be overcome to bring connected homes in to the mainstream," Steffen Sorrell, senior analyst at Juniper Research, told CNBC by phone.