Samsung Elec says Gear smartwatch sales hit 800,000 in two months

SEOUL Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:34am EST

Shin Jong-kyun, President and CEO, head of IT and Mobile Communication division of Samsung presents the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch during its launch at the 'Samsung UNPACKED 2013 Episode 2' at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin, September 4, 2013. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Shin Jong-kyun, President and CEO, head of IT and Mobile Communication division of Samsung presents the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch during its launch at the 'Samsung UNPACKED 2013 Episode 2' at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin, September 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

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SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co said on Tuesday its Galaxy Gear has become the world's most popular smartwatch with sales reaching 800,000 since its debut two months ago, defying some market concerns the accessory would fail due to a lack of compelling features.

The South Korean firm said Gear sales have been 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 and collaborations with fashion shows to seize leadership in the wearable computer market after the device got off to a rocky start after being critically panned by reviewers.

Well-known tech reviewer David Pogue, who recently left the New York Times to start a new consumer-tech web site at Yahoo, described its design "inconsistent and frustrating" and recommended nobody buy it.

The product marks Samsung's latest attempt to prove that it is more than just a fast follower in innovation behind Apple Inc. The Cupertino California-based firm is widely speculated by media and analysts to be working on wearable device.

Priced at around $300, the Gear works as an accessory to its market leading Galaxy smartphone, with a small OLED screen offering basic functions like photos, hands-free calls and message notifications.

Market expectations on the device have been not so strong, as it has only around 70 dedicated applications.

UK retailer Phones4U offered the Gear for free to consumers buying the Galaxy Note3 on contract earlier this month, while earlier media reports said that the device was suffering some 30 percent of return rates in U.S. stores of Best Buy.

"It's 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 said in a statement.

(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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Comments (3)
dooderman wrote:
I call BS. In my recent travels across tech havens (Bay Area, Silicon Alley, Seattle, and Seoul), I have yet to see a single Galaxy Gear in the wild. If people are really buying them, they’re clearly not using them. The engine that’s known as the Samsung propaganda machine continues to churn. I spoke to an electronics storefront owner in Seoul that had the Galaxy Gear and he said it has been one of the consensus worst selling devices in recent memory. If this is the extent of their success on home territory, then it bodes poorly for Samsung globally.

Nov 19, 2013 5:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
kpkpkp wrote:
Those things are flying out the door – like boomerangs – with a 30% return rate, according to Best Buy
http://www.geek.com/android/galaxy-gear-support-coming-to-samsung-phones-amid-concern-over-30-return-rate-1575151/

Nov 19, 2013 10:16am EST  --  Report as abuse
Bluemansgo wrote:
You’ll notice that this is likely how many units have been sold into the marketplace… not how many units were actually sold. Also, with a return rate as high as 30%, the article headline is a little bit specious.

Nov 19, 2013 1:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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