As Samsung Doubles Down On Smartphones, It Hits 'Pause' On Smartwatches

Samsung is riding high following the debut of its flagship Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones. But while the Galaxy S5’s launch in early 2014 was joined by the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches, a new smartwatch offering did not join the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge onstage. That was surprising for a company that released six smartwatches in the past 14 months and “still leads the smart band market” according to Canalys.

Samsung and LG were the first to bring Android Wear devices to consumers, but while LG has made a significant leap from the lackluster G Watch to recently announced Watch Urbane, Samsung’s original Gear Live hasn’t seen a worthy successor. Even if we consider Samsung’s Tizen-based smartwatch efforts, the call-capable Gear S was announced way back in August.

gear s
Samsung Gear S

So why the slowdown for Samsung on the smartwatch front when the wearables market looks to be on the verge of taking off? In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Samsung Mobile Marketing Executive Vice President Young-hee Lee says that her company simply needs to slow down a bit and breathe. “We’ve been introducing more devices than anybody else,” said Lee. “It’s time for us to pause.”

Rather than just throw numerous products at the market to see what sticks, Samsung is looking to get it right fresh out of the gate with its next smartwatch offering. “We want a more perfect product,” Lee added.

To tell you the truth, Samsung is probably making the right decision here by holding off to ensure that it delivers a product that isn’t half-baked. Just look how far we havecome from the early days of Android Wear to today. Companies like LG and Motorola have really advanced the market and Huawei came completely out of left field and dazzled us with its Android Wear smartwatch. And we can’t forget the 500-pound gorilla in the room: Apple. The Apple Watch will launch next month and Apple will do everything in its power to suck all of the air out of the room as it branches out into a new product category.

With all of this fresh competition ahead, perhaps chasing “perfection” isn’t such a bad idea after all.


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