When the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch was first released, tech reviewers weren’t sure what to make of the device. It was the first practical mainstream demonstration of the “wearable technology” trend, but the device was not compatible with very many smartphones at its launch, and its limited application list made some consumers question the $300 price tag. 

Despite these misgivings, the Samsung Galaxy Gear shipped 800,000 units in the two short months since its release, Reuters reports. Samsung said in a statement that sales thus far have exceeded internal expectations, but did not provide specific numbers beyond the number of units shipped to retailers. The statement also indicated that Samsung intends to expand its advertising efforts for the device during the holiday sales period. 

Expanded Device Compatibility Coming Soon 

Samsung also indicated that it plans to offer some improvements for the Galaxy Gear watch in the near future, particularly device compatibility. “It’s the most-sold wearable watch available in the marketplace…and we plan to expand its availability by expanding mobile devices that work with the Gear,” the company said in a statement. 

This move may allay some concerns about the Galaxy Gear’s long-term prospects. At its launch, the device was not compatible with Apple’s iPhone, leading many to wonder if the device could really penetrate the market in a meaningful way. If Samsung is indeed working on enabling Galaxy Gear compatibility for devices outside of the Samsung family, the device could appeal to iPhone users who don’t want to wait for Apple to release its own product.

Paving the Way for New Devices

These impressive shipment figures for the Galaxy Gear watch serve as confirmation that the market is ready for the smartwatch. This is even good news for Apple, as concerns rose early on in the iWatch’s development about whether the public would be interested in wearable technology. These results show that not only are consumers eager to purchase smartwatches, they want to adopt them early in their life cycles; this could help drive accelerated development and release schedules for future devices. Samsung is reportedly looking at releasing a follow up to the Galaxy Gear 2 as soon as the January 2014 CES event, according to T3. If true, this updated device could feature internal GPS, larger memory, and more on-board applications. 

Have you purchased a Galaxy Gear smartwatch, or are you waiting for another brand to release a similar product before investing in wearable technology? 

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons




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