NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Samsung (SSNLF) -- the South Korean electronics giant that makes Galaxy, one of the world's most popular smartphones -- is looking to solidify its foothold in the market of wearable devices by teaming up with apparel and accessories maker Under Armour (UA) .
South Korea's Yonhap news agency has reported that Lee Jay-yong, vice chairman of Samsung's electronics division and the heir apparent to the top job, met with Under Armour founder and CEO Kelvin Plank earlier this month. The meeting could be a response to the long-standing partnership between Samsung's biggest rival, Apple (AAPL), and Under Amour competitor Nike (NKE).
According to research firm IDC, the wearables market is expected to grow almost 80% per year through 2018. Samsung already dominates the smartwatch marketplace and is looking to expand beyond wrist-wearables.
Shares of Samsung, which trade in the U.S. on the over-the-counter Bulletin Board, have risen by 7.7% this year, exchanging hands recently at around $1,400. The Nasdaq Composite Index has risen 5.9% so far this year.
The company already has a number of wearable devices under its belt. It launched its smartwatch, called Galaxy Gear last year, followed by Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit. Last month, Samsung showcased its Gear Live smartwatch at Google's (GOOG) developer conference.
Samsung has been the biggest player in the smartwatch market, commanding a 71% market share in the first three months of this year, thanks to the sale of 500,000 smartwatches.