Samsung Electronics said it has shipped 800,000 Galaxy Gear smart watches in two months since its debut despite middling reviews of the gadget.
According to Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, Samsung revealed the shipment figure on Tuesday. "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, according to Reuters.
Samsung does not reveal quarterly smartphones sales but will occasionally reveal milestone sales for flagship products, such as its Galaxy smartphones. According to the Journal, analysts said Samsung's release of the Galaxy Gear sales figures was likely intended to minimize concerns in the market that sales of the smart watch have been a disappointment. Samsung declined to say whether the 800,000 sales figure had exceeded or fallen short of internal expectations.
"This is probably just to show that the shipments have reached close to 1 million," Doh Hyun-woo, an analyst with Mirae Asset Securities, told the Journal. "Still, the figure only shows us that people are rarely buying this product given that the Galaxy Note  smartphones are expected to average 10 million units in sales per month."
The Gear connects to Samsung's Galaxy smartphones via Bluetooth. The gadget can notify users of incoming messages, such as calls, texts, emails and alerts, and delivers a preview of those messages. Users can also conduct hands-free calls with the Gear using the device's built-in speaker, and can snap pictures and video with a 1.9-megapixel camera.
Many reviewers had given the Gear tepid reviews, and dinged it for its $299 price tag, with PC Magazine concluding, "The Samsung Galaxy Gear advances the smart watch concept, but it's too expensive, limited, and difficult to use in its current form." However, as The Verge notes, Samsung recently updated the Gear's software to improve notification support, which was a major issue for many reviewers.
When it was first announced in early September the Gear was compatible only with the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition. However, in in late October, Samsung expanded compatibility to the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III.
On Monday, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) said it will begin selling its Toq smart watch on Dec. 2--Cyber Monday, the day after the Black Friday holiday shopping bonanza--for $349. Qualcomm announced its Toq smart watch the same day Samsung unveiled its own Galaxy Gear smart watch. However, Qualcomm has made it clear the device is more of a proof of concept than a mass market attack on the smart watch segment.
- see this Reuters article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this The Verge article
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