Samsung delighted by Apple Watch competition

Samsung is relishing the opportunity to go hear-to-head with Apple again in the smartwatch industry, according to reports.

The South Korean firm’s vice president of mobile Rory O’Neill told CNBC that he is “delighted” by the challenge posed by the upcoming Apple Watch.

Read more: Apple Watch is officially available for pre-order, but only by appointment

In fact, O’Neill believes that more great products entering the marketplace ultimately drives innovation and improvement.

"Great competitors offer great things to consumers and the fact that there are so many great competitors in this space mean that there is absolutely a market. I mean, that's what it tells you," he said. "It's with great delight that Apple has followed us into that market."

O’Neill’s phrasing also suggests that his firm are pleased to have launched their product before Apple, gaining a head start on its rival. Samsung did originally plan to have six smartwatches released before the Apple Watch officially launched, but announced at Mobile World Congress this year that it would be taking more time to ensure consumers received a top quality product.

Although bullish, Samsung will be keeping a close eye on the Apple Watch and how it is received by the public. The wearable has been predicted to sell up to as many as 40 million units in its first year, kick-starting the smartwatch market. The Apple Watch is only compatible with an iPhone, however, so Samsung will be hoping to secure a large proportion of the Android market.

The Apple Watch is available for pre-order from today, with units scheduled to ship from 24 April. The device has so far received mixed reviews, with some praising the watch’s design and others criticising its price and limited battery life.

Read more: Apple Watch store now open at Selfridges in London

Perhaps in response to the Apple Watch, Samsung is believed to be creating a round-faced smartwatch, known only by its development name “Orbis.”