(Pocket-lint) - During its CES 2016 press conference, Samsung announced that it will be bringing iOS compatibility to its Gear S2 smartwatch. What's more, during the show it also confirmed to Pocket-lint that that the firmware update and, presumably, dedicated iPhone app will arrive in "mid-January" - so not long to wait now.
It seems that Apple will have another serious competitor in the smartwatch space going forward too, with Samsung also suggesting to us that all of its devices going forward will be iPhone and iOS compatible.
"At the keynote speech last year, we made a commitment to a change in strategy, to be as open as we can. It is our belief that for convergence and the Internet of Things to really work, consumers shouldn’t be penalised for having a different product. We should try as an industry to make every product work together," explained Kyle Brown, head of product launch programmes for Samsung UK.
"That’s where SmartThings comes in, the open platform. So for us the first step is Gear S2, to make it work with multiple platforms. It works with any Android and now with iOS."
It's a strategy that has been adopted by Google too with Android Wear. However, because of the nature of the operating system, some features do not translate well when paired with an iPhone. Pebble too has some quirks still to iron out between iOS and Android.
We're yet to discover if Samsung will have similar issues - voice recognition support and interaction with Siri, for example.
One thing is for sure, third-party developers will be encouraged to continue to support Gear S2 and Tizen. Bringing in a whole new market of potential users is one way to make it economically viable for them to do so. Another is to expand the possibilities and devices that use the operating system. And more apps mean more interest.
"The best thing for us is that Tizen is a web platform, so if you make an application once for Tizen, it can be easily changed for multiple UIs and multiple different devices," said Brown. "So any application made for Gear S2, a version of that could work well on a Smart TV or our new Family Hub Refrigerator."