Samsung: Galaxy Gear Smartwatch 'Beat Expectations' - InformationWeek

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11/19/2013
05:05 PM
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Samsung: Galaxy Gear Smartwatch 'Beat Expectations'

Samsung claims it has shipped more than 800,000 Galaxy Gear devices, making it the best-selling smartwatch in the world.

8 Wearable Tech Devices To Watch
Eight Wearable Tech Devices To Watch
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Samsung today looked to douse the fires of doubt by announcing it has shipped more than 800,000 units of its Galaxy Gear smartwatch. The news came on the heels of reports that suggested Samsung had moved as few as 50,000 of the watches. Samsung went so far as to say the device had beat its expectations.

"It's the most sold wearable watch available in the marketplace and we plan to expand its availability by expanding mobile devices that work with the Gear," said Samsung in a statement.

The only other smartwatch maker to share sales numbers is Pebble, which recently revealed that it has sold 190,000 of its Pebble watches. Available since early this year, the Pebble was at first only available directly from Pebble, but it can also now be purchased from Best Buy. Sony has not shared shipment figures for either its SmartWatch or SmartWatch 2 products, the latter of which just went on sale.

[ Competition in the smartwatch market is heating up. Read Qualcomm Toq Smartwatch: Release Details. ]

The Galaxy Gear was introduced in September alongside the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. At launch the device could work only with the Note 3, which severely hindered its appeal. Samsung has already said several times that it will soon update devices such as the Galaxy S4, S III, and Note 2 so that they are compatible with the Gear. Those updates have yet to appear, however.

Shipments of the Note 3 reached about 10 million units in the first month the device was available. Comparing shipments of the Gear smartwatch clearly reveals that fewer than one in ten Note 3 purchasers also chose to pick up the Gear. This could be for any number of reasons.

The Gear costs $299.99 and uses Bluetooth to communicate with nearby smartphones. It is one of the most expensive smartwatches out there. (The Pebble, in comparison, costs half as much, at $150.) Currently only Qualcomm's Toq smartwatch, which goes on sale Dec. 2 for $349.99, is more expensive than the Gear. Still, at $299, the Gear is no bargain compared to the less costly competition.

The Note 3 comes with an app for managing the smartwatch, which includes a full-color screen, speakerphone, camera, and about 70 applications. The Gear can be used to answer/reject incoming calls, receive messaging alerts, control a music player, and dictate text messages thanks to S Voice integration. Perhaps once Samsung updates more of its devices with Gear compatibility, sales will pick up.

Consumerization 1.0 was "we don't need IT." Today we need IT to bridge the gap between consumer and business tech. Also in the Consumerization 2.0 issue of InformationWeek: Stop worrying about the role of the CIO. (Free registration required.)

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Tom Murphy
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Tom Murphy,
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11/25/2013 | 2:29:34 PM
Re: smartwatch
Farhit: In your case, I can see this makes perfect sense. You clearly must be watching a "dashboard" of indicators all the time, and the watch will enhance your productivity.  There are certainly other professions where this would apply -- nurses who have to watch many patients, police who need to monitor numerous situations, engineers in a utility plant, etc.   

But I sense the vast majority of people buying these devices are ordinary consumers who want to have a constant connection to their smartphones in a nonprofessional context -- people who live from Tweet to Tweet and deparately crave the approval of the crowd.  I just feel sad for those people.

If my friends really want to reach me at any time, they know how. I don't feel a need to check constantly to see what they posted, and I would hate to think they're waiting endlessly for me to post a new photo of my dog.
Tom Murphy
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Tom Murphy,
User Rank: Author
11/25/2013 | 1:40:22 PM
Re: smartwatch
Farhit: I'd rather take a phone out of my pocket than take $300 out of my wallet.  And then there is the social element:  We've already gotten to the point where the average person checks their phone every four minutes -- which is absurd.  It seems like a watch would reduce that time to a minute or less.   I think we're heading the wrong way -- human beings do not need to be that connected, and the constant distractions/interuptions end up reducing their efficiency at work.

Don't get me wrong. I love my smartphone. I love brownies, too, but I don't eat one every four minutes.
Tom Murphy
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Tom Murphy,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2013 | 6:25:19 PM
Re: smartwatch
I can understand that when people by a phone, the Gear may look like an attractive add-on to about 8% of them, but I wonder if there were some package deals that brought the price down. At $300, I find it quite amazing that 800,000 were sold  (I'm assuming that is "sell-through," and not "sell-in").

 

 
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2013 | 5:23:15 PM
smartwatch
Are you saying you may get less than you pay for? Doesn't the $300 one offer something more than th $150 one? 
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