HTC reportedly working on smartwatch with camera

The struggling handset maker could release the Android-based smartwatch by the end of next year, Bloomberg reports.

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HTC reportedly plans to join a smartwatch market already populated with Fitbit Force, Pebble, and Samsung Galaxy Gear. Sarah Tew/CNET

As interest in wearable computing increases, HTC is said to be working on a smartwatch that will snap photos.

The struggling handset maker is expected to release an Android-based smartwatch with a camera by the end of next year, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing an unidentified person described as familiar with the matter. The report emerges a day after HTC CEO Peter Chou was quoted by the Financial Times as saying that the wearable technology market is "a critical segment for us" but that wasn't sure the time is right to jump into the space.

CNET has contacted HTC for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

The market for wearable technology is expected to expand rapidly in the next few years, with worldwide spending hitting $19 billion by 2018, according to a report released last week by Juniper Research. The increase will stem in large part from "heightened consumer awareness of wearable technology," Juniper Research's Nitin Bhas said in a statement.

While much of that heightened awareness is due to reports that Apple is working on a smartwatch, HTC will also be competing with rival Samsung, which jumped into the wearable market in September with its camera-equipped Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Other players already in the market include the Pebble Watch, Sony SmartWatch 2, and FitBit Force.

The Taiwanese handset maker is struggling against fierce competition from Apple and Samsung. A decline in mobile market share recently resulted in the company reporting its first quarterly net loss in more than 10 years. In an effort to reverse that slide, Chou is planning to temporarily relinquish some of his day-to-day duties to focus on innovation and product development.