Call me a curmudgeon if you want, but I don't think there's a lot of traction to be found in the smartwatch market. To me, it's a category that doesn't make a ton of sense now that smartphones are so ubiquitous. I don't doubt there's a niche, but on a mass scale, I just don't see it. I could be wrong, and an initial look at Samsung's Galaxy Gear
sales would even suggest it.
According to Reuters
, Samsung is claiming it sold 800,000 Galaxy Gear devices since it launched to retail two months ago. That's an impressive figure for a supplementary device, especially since it's an expensive one -- the Galaxy Gear retails for $299 and there's no subsidiary option.
Samsung said that sales have exceeded its own expectations, adding that the Galaxy Gear is "the most sold wearable watch available in the market place...and we plan to expand its availability by expanding mobile devices that work with the gear."
Samsung's figures certainly fly in the face of critics and skeptics like myself, however there's an important distinction between sales to retailers and sales to consumers. In this case, Korean publication Yonhap reports that Samsung is referring to retailer shipments, which was confirmed to The Verge
by Samsung Korea.
It's too early to draw a conclusion, but until those retail shipments translate over into consumer purchases, I stand by skepticism that the smartwatch market is not the next big thing. Further evidence can be found in reports suggesting a 30 percent return rate
of Galaxy Gear devices.