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The Apple iWatch remains a glint in the eye of every Cupertino fanboy and fanatic.

But the unannounced timepiece is already having a huge effect on the tech world, with mobile makers clamouring to beat Tim Cook and co to the punch with their own versions.

In fact, the first wave has already arrived, with Sony leading the charge. Here are five key iWatch rivals to keep an eye out for.

1 Sony Smartwatch 2

sony smartwatch 2

Sony’s first smartwatch received what might politely be described as ‘mixed reviews’.

In fact, it was a clunky effort, unable to match the expectations of users despite having Twitter and email access.

The SmartWatch 2, announced this week and due out in September, is a wholly different proposition.

With a far sleeker screen, remote photo smarts and the ability to work on all Android phones, not just Xperia ones, this device has a real chance of success.

2 Pebble

pebble watch

This Kickstarter-funded timepiece has paved the way in the smartwatch sector.

It packs customisable screens and works with both iOS and Android, meaning nearly all smartphone users can get to grips with one easily.

You can also expect vibrating alerts when you get calls, texts or email, with Pebble itself building dedicated apps for cyclists, runners and even golfers trying to locate their ball.

3 Google Smartwatch

Google smartwatch (Android) concept

Talk of a Big G branded smartwatch has been doing the rounds for months.

After patent drawings of the device slipped out, now sources have told the Wall Street Journal that it’s definitely in the works.

What’s more, it could even be out by the end of 2013. Little is known about the timepiece itself, but full Android access is of course likely.

That means call alerts, social media and perhaps even remote camera access, like Sony’s newest effort.

4 Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch

Samsung smartwatch concept

Samsung hasn’t been shy about telling the world about its smartwatch plans. Back in March, its Executive Vice President of Mobile, Lee Young Hee, was about as explicit as he could be about the Korean giant’s plans for such a device.

“We've been preparing the watch product for so long. We are working very hard to get ready for it,” he said.

“We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them.”

Launch dates remain unclear, but with Sony already out of the gate, Berlin’s annual IFA event in September could be a good bet for when we’ll see this Galaxy-branded number.

5 Metawatch Strata

metawatch strata

Like the Pebble, this is another Kickstarter-backed effort that works across both iOS and Android.

Unfortunately, its Android compatibility remains limited, but that’s not to say this isn’t a more than decent attempt to beat Apple at its own game.

There are notifications for calls and messages, as well as a suite of widgets, including ones for serving up the weather and latest calendar notifications.

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