It looks like the smartwatch idea has some mileage after all. Samsung Electronics said its Galaxy Gear has become the world's most popular smartwatch with shipments reaching 800,000 since its debut two months ago. It was off to a bumpy start though, with unimpressive reviews and high return rates.
To be fair being the market leader in smart watches is not that difficult given the fact that there are not that many in the market. However the 800,000 figure is more than 799.999 more than we expected Samsung to sell. The company's statement referred to sales of the smartwatch, but Samsung later clarified that it was basing its figures on shipments to retailers and mobile operators. The South Korean firm said Gear sales were better than its own expectations and it would expand sales promotions for the wearable device for the crucial year-end holiday sales.
Samsung has poured marketing resources into the Gear with heavy advertisements mostly to clearly establish itself before Apple released its version of the wearable computer. Now it seems that Apple has decided it is probably not worth it – either that or it doesn't like sloppy seconds.
Apple tried to pronounce the Samsung watch dead on arrival, it got its free press officer David Pogue to call the Gear "inconsistent and frustrating" and recommended nobody buy it. We guess he was hoping that Apple would pull finger and release its own version so he could wax lyrical about how innovative and clever it was.
However the Gear is very expensive for what you get - $300 for an accessory to the Galaxy smartphone, with a small OLED screen offering basic functions like photos, hands-free calls and message notifications. UK retailer Phones4U offered the Gear for free to consumers buying the Galaxy Note3 on contract earlier this month.