Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch bombs with under 50,000 units sold

That $299 smartwatch known as the Samsung Galaxy Gear isn't doing nearly as well as Samsung probably hoped. A report estimates that the vendor has only been able to sell 50,000 units or less since its launch about a month and a half ago on Oct. 4. Sales are averaging between 800 and 900 per day. Yeah, it's pretty embarrassing.

It doesn't get much better from there. Reports from the end of October indicated the return rate for the Galaxy Gear is at 30 percent — just under one-third of customers were returning the smartwatch. Despite Samsung pouring quite a bit of effort into marketing, the numbers so far clearly illustrate that the product has basically flopped.

Let's be realistic here though. The watch from the start was both expensive at $299 and inflexible being compatible with only one Samsung smartphone, the Galaxy Note 3. In fairness, compatibility has since expanded to some additional Galaxy devices like the S4. It received universally mediocre reviews for its lack of complete functionality and inability to function much at all without a compatible smartphone. A $300 accessory is a tough sell. Plus, it's not entirely out of the question that Samsung just rushed the product to market in an attempt to be one step ahead of the rumors surrounding an Apple smartwatch in the works.

Source: BusinessKorea

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Over 1,000 Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 Unity apps submitted to stores

Next Story

Ransomware email attachment demands Bitcoin payments

73 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

By whose measure is selling 50,000 of anything a flop?

It's selling for $300. What's the breakdown between what goes back to Samsung vs what the resellers get to keep? If 2/3 goes back to Samsung (I'm pulling that number out of my ass--so, $200 in this case) that means it generated $10M in revenue. How much did Samsung invest from concept to shipping? I can't imagine they had thousands of people working on this for years...

First of all..nobody wears watches anymore..

Second...everything you need is on your smart phone...including the time and temperature.

Why did Neowin declare that the Galaxy Gear watch bombed?

Engadget reports:

In an attempt to end speculation surrounding the popularity of its Galaxy Gear, Samsung has shared its smartwatch sales figures for the first time, and they might surprise you. Reuters reports that the company's Android-powered wearable has sold 800,000 units since its launch in September, surpassing its own expectations and setting straight recent reports that pegged worldwide South Korean sales at 50,000 units.

To stimulate sales, Samsung has offered plenty of incentives to buy the Galaxy Gear by bundling it with the Galaxy Note 3, with some UK carriers offering the smartwatch for free if they purchased the 5.7-inch smartphone on a two-year contract. Samsung believes the Gear is now the "most sold wearable watch available in the marketplace," which, if true, would put it ahead of efforts from Pebble and Sony. As the holidays approach, the company says it will offer more Galaxy Gear promotions as it builds out future support for more of its smartphones, adding to its recent software update that brought all of your notifications to the device.

I feel that a smart-watch needs to have Kinect-level voice recognition and heavy gestural commands. As it stands, smart-watch UX is pretty weak-to-average at best. The problem with this is that smartwatches simply try and mimic the smartphone UI on a 1" screen which doesn't work at all.

If you had a smartwatch that could the core basic functions of a smartphone, such as voice calls, text messages, checking weather/stocks, change music and the like, but then also act as an app and action launcher through voice commands (e.g. "Galaxy, launch Plants Vs. Zombies 2", "Galaxy, Sync my e-mail", "Galaxy, It's Morphin Time! ") then the smartwatch will have a lot more appeal as it'll allow you to have a workhorse in your pocket without having to take it out.

I also think Samsung should add more Smartglass-esque tech into its smartwatches - the ability to control the phone itself using a smartwatch. For example, plugging in a phone into a television or high-def projector, and controlling presentations and demonstrations using your smartwatch could bring BYOD culture to a whole new level in businesses.

Smartwatches should be able to 1) sync with multiple devices and 2) sync using NFC. Lastly, why don't we add compatibility with tablets and smart TVs to smartwatches too? Having the same functionality I described above with tablets and TVs as well as phones would make a smartwatch more of a lifestyle product that's seen as a necessity for those seeking the ultimate productivity. Ultimate control of your devices, all on your wrist. Hell, you could even potentially be able to control your whole home (if you have smart-tech in your home) right from your watch.

Smartwatches have a lot more potential then this first gen Galaxy Gear is giving us.

Has it even been marketed? I didn't know it was available.. the only time i've seen it is on the EE shared 4G plan commercial where Kevin Bacon has lots of devices, one of them is a watch.

Hello,

Is it me or does reading the title quickly make you think somone made a bomb out of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch?

Reviewers have been rather negative of it for expecting to much from it. I love mine and never miss call or notifications. I don't see the Pebble creaming anything other than cheap suits.

I think Apple would do a better job, possibly, but there isn't enough markup for Apple in this market. Apple likes high margin products and these watches wouldn't be cheap to make.

stevan said,
I think Apple would do a better job, possibly, but there isn't enough markup for Apple in this market. Apple likes high margin products and these watches wouldn't be cheap to make.
I agree.

I don't know how anyone fell for this, especially when the pebble is $150 and creams it in every category. But I probably wouldn't even pay that much, I haven't worn a watch in my life and I don't see that changing.

I have a Pebble and I LOVE it. I am often in noisy environments and now I never miss a call or text or any other notifications.

Doubful. This time they don't have Steve Jobs and his RDF to convince people that's it's the best thing after sliced bread.

It was over done plain and simple. Way too many features for a watch, Samsung pretty much did what you shouldn't, cram every feature that a phone has into a watch. A camera? really? On top of that it was only useable by 1 maybe 2 of their phones. Samsung tried to rush to the market and it didn't work. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprise if Apple started the rumor about their iWatch just to watch other trying to make them, wouldn't be surprise if Apple has no plans for one at all

I don't see it....anyone under 40 probably doesn't wear a watch. Those like me (54) have worn a watch all their lives, and probably still do. I broke my 8 year old watch about 3 months ago and went without it a week, and broke down and bought a new one, just felt strange not having one, but, for the younger crowd, I can't see them spending that amount of money on something they've probably never worn anyway.

naap51stang said,
I don't see it....anyone under 40 probably doesn't wear a watch. Those like me (54) have worn a watch all their lives, and probably still do. I broke my 8 year old watch about 3 months ago and went without it a week, and broke down and bought a new one, just felt strange not having one, but, for the younger crowd, I can't see them spending that amount of money on something they've probably never worn anyway.

You clearly don't hang around with many under-40 year olds. I work at a company of over 6000 mostly fitting that age description and there are plenty of watches to go around, my own included

The problem with this smartwatch was that it was useless without a very specific device and not really that useful with it anyway. That's just a nonstarter there.

While I think the concept of smartwatches are cool and hold potential, I think the reality of them is beyond asinine- we already have too many devices that need regular charging.

It is interesting though that the iPod nano works pretty well with such a small form factor. If Apple basically makes an iPod nano that can wrap around the wrist it might be a huge success. The question remains, how it would be efficient being strapped to your wrist, and how would it best complete its function, which is something apple looks to perfect a lot.

Not surprising, the fairly recent Galaxy S3 doesn't even support this watch 'cause Samsung are a bunch of lazy idiots. We're still on Android 4.1.2.. hello?!

That's funny considering the Kickstarter-backed Pebble got 80000 units simply on the backs of pledges. Back to the drawing board, Samsung.

But they'll do it "right" and it'll look better. I don't buy Apple stuff
but I have to admit their products are pretty damned good in both form and funtion. Don't care much for their garden though.

Hahaiah said,
But they'll do it "right" and it'll look better. I don't buy Apple stuff
but I have to admit their products are pretty damned good in both form and funtion. Don't care much for their garden though.

Accept this time there's no Steve Jobs and his RDF to convince people that's it's the best thing after sliced bread.

More like watches PERIOD are so 1990s - if folks want watch functions, they turn to a device (like a tablet, media player, or even a phone). Galaxy Gear is an attempt to reverse that trend - which folks are actively resisting.

PGHammer said,
More like watches PERIOD are so 1990s - if folks want watch functions, they turn to a device (like a tablet, media player, or even a phone). Galaxy Gear is an attempt to reverse that trend - which folks are actively resisting.

I don't think watches are "out", but they're certainly not as prevalent anymore. The thing of it is, that "smart gear" is just a silly gimmick that people don't want to deal with.

Don't write them off just yet. They're still an emerging market that has yet to be fully exploited. Samsung got it wrong by trying to replicate the smartphone experience on a watch. The watch is SUPPOSED to be an extension of the phone, not merely a mini-me.

Hell, look at the number of people who thought and still think tablets is a useless idea.

Denis W said,
Don't write them off just yet. They're still an emerging market that has yet to be fully exploited. Samsung got it wrong by trying to replicate the smartphone experience on a watch. The watch is SUPPOSED to be an extension of the phone, not merely a mini-me.

Hell, look at the number of people who thought and still think tablets is a useless idea.

I don't know. I just don't see them taking off. Tablets are useful, and have their place, but smartwatches? I don't see them having functionality that I couldn't accomplish with a smartphone or tablet.

Dot Matrix said,

I don't know. I just don't see them taking off. Tablets are useful, and have their place, but smartwatches? I don't see them having functionality that I couldn't accomplish with a smartphone or tablet.

I'm of course biased seeing how I do own a smartwatch. That said, if smartwatches don't take off, wearable technology will. Watches could, in a way, be a cheaper precursor to having things show up on our glasses.

Many people think it's a cool idea, but I only know of one other friend that owns a smartwatch (two, but the second friend is letting it collect dust). It's still an immature concept that needs refining.

The use cases I have for a watch is fairly minor and trivial to some, but here it is anyway - things that don't require pulling out the phone:
- check a message when taking the phone out isn't ideal, i.e. in a rainstorm or in a crowded bus
- switch songs while phone remains in pocket
- be an exercise companion when cycling

and some edge use cases, such as apps that show current weather and next appointment.

Dot Matrix said,
I don't know. I just don't see them taking off. Tablets are useful, and have their place, but smartwatches? I don't see them having functionality that I couldn't accomplish with a smartphone or tablet.

Given the right conditions, I could see them being useful. I run a lot, and being able to see my Endomondo stats on my watch rather than checking my phone in my armband would be mucho convenient. And looking at my watch to read a text message would be great too. Smartwatches have their place, it's just much more of a niche than tablets.

Samsung got it majorly wrong here though. There's no way I'd be interested in a brand-restricted device that needs charging every day, and costs almost as much as the phone itself.

IMO Pebble is about the closest I've seen to a decent smartwatch. 7 days battery, and half the price of the Galaxy Gear. Still needs to drop below $100 before I'm interested though.

PGHammer said,

More like watches PERIOD are so 1990s - if folks want watch functions, they turn to a device (like a tablet, media player, or even a phone). Galaxy Gear is an attempt to reverse that trend - which folks are actively resisting.

As a daily watch wearer I couldn't disagree more. I never understood the whole "getting your phone out your pocket is easier than checking your watch" philosophy. And even if you subscribe to that opinion, I think that an expensive analogue watch is a very classy piece of jewellery.

PGHammer said,
More like watches PERIOD are so 1990s - if folks want watch functions, they turn to a device (like a tablet, media player, or even a phone). Galaxy Gear is an attempt to reverse that trend - which folks are actively resisting.
Just plain wrong! I own 7 watches myself. When attending fine restaurants, lounges, or higher class bars, most people have a fine watch on their wrist. If you've ever seen a fine watch, they are a piece of art. However, I do not see many teens and college kids wearing watches. Mostly professionals and the older folks.

JHBrown said,
Just plain wrong! I own 7 watches myself. When attending fine restaurants, lounges, or higher class bars, most people have a fine watch on their wrist. If you've ever seen a fine watch, they are a piece of art. However, I do not see many teens and college kids wearing watches. Mostly professionals and the older folks.

Yes, I love wearing fine watches. We can agree on something!

JHBrown said,
Just plain wrong! I own 7 watches myself. When attending fine restaurants, lounges, or higher class bars, most people have a fine watch on their wrist. If you've ever seen a fine watch, they are a piece of art. However, I do not see many teens and college kids wearing watches. Mostly professionals and the older folks.

I agree. Watches are stylish and classy. Pulling out your smartphone and flipping through it every thirty seconds is not.

smart watches are an insult to watches. I like to wear my nice Gucci swiss brown leather strap watch with my Armani suit, while I like puff on a cohiba cigar.

Dot Matrix said,
Gee, who didn't see that coming. People don't want to wear smart devices. It's just stupid.
If it were from Microsoft and running a Metro interface, I think you'd buy it.

Haha, nice! I'll try not to laugh.

But in all seriousness, I doubt Dot Matrix would buy it even if it were a Microsoft device. BUT, If Microsoft made it, the watch would be 100x better than whatever crap Samsung did. Samsung should stick to their plastic, laggy, Android smartphones that are way overrated.

PGHammer said,
More like watches PERIOD are so 1990s - if folks want watch functions, they turn to a device (like a tablet, media player, or even a phone). Galaxy Gear is an attempt to reverse that trend - which folks are actively resisting.

Lots, and lots of people WANT to wear watches, and DO wear watches. To suggest they are a thing of the past is outright crazy talk.

Adamodeus said,
Right. Like I want to drag my tablet out of my bag just to see the time.

You're supposed to wear the tablet around your neck with the time showing.

I fail to see that the market exists at all. Nobody still hasn't been able to answer the basic question why do you need this if you have a smartphone? They've spent the last decade convincing people that they can't function without their phone and in the process destroyed the watch market. But now you want to try to bring it back up while not destroy your phone market I just don't see how the two products can coexist.

macrosslover said,
I fail to see that the market exists at all. Nobody still hasn't been able to answer the basic question why do you need this if you have a smartphone? They've spent the last decade convincing people that they can't function without their phone and in the process destroyed the watch market. But now you want to try to bring it back up while not destroy your phone market I just don't see how the two products can coexist.

Oh I strongly disagree. I believe companies just haven't stumbled upon what works just yet. My personal view is that they shouldn't be these huge, ugly monstrosities. I want the maintain the existing watch aesthetics and then add small improvements. #1 is that is has to be something people actually want to wear.

chAos972 said,
Without anything to copy, this is what comes out of Samsung's mobile devices department. Just wait and see.

It's not just their mobile devices. Their entire electronics and household appliance departments historically also engage in this copycat business model.

AWilliams87 said,

It's not just their mobile devices. Their entire electronics and household appliance departments historically also engage in this copycat business model.

Welcome to how all companies operate. People are acting like what Samsung does is isolated to them only.

techbeck said,

Welcome to how all companies operate. People are acting like what Samsung does is isolated to them only.


I don't mean they simple take ideas from other companies. They flat out produce replicas of existing products on the market.

Case in point:
http://snapsort.com/compare/Samsung-NX200-vs-Sony-NEX-5N
http://cdn.cultofandroid.com/w...-10-at-13.13.41-640x410.jpg

Other companies don't do this; at least regularly. Samsung is in a league of it's own in this respect. I don't understand how it's hard to see.

Edited by AWilliams87, Nov 19 2013, 3:37am :

AWilliams87 said,

I don't mean they simple take ideas from other companies. They flat out produce replicas of existing products on the market.

Case in point:
http://snapsort.com/compare/Samsung-NX200-vs-Sony-NEX-5N
http://cdn.cultofandroid.com/w...-10-at-13.13.41-640x410.jpg

Other companies don't do this; at least regularly. Samsung is in a league of it's own in this respect. I don't understand how it's hard to see.

And most recently, they copied Dyson!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24023430

AWilliams87 said,

I don't mean they simple take ideas from other companies. They flat out produce replicas of existing products on the market.

Case in point:
http://snapsort.com/compare/Samsung-NX200-vs-Sony-NEX-5N
http://cdn.cultofandroid.com/w...-10-at-13.13.41-640x410.jpg

Other companies don't do this; at least regularly. Samsung is in a league of it's own in this respect. I don't understand how it's hard to see.

1. It's a camera. They don't design the lens, they have to make it that size. And a handle. What do you want them to do exactly with that type of camera?

2. Again, the technology calls for it to be designed like that.

AWilliams87 said,

I don't mean they simple take ideas from other companies. They flat out produce replicas of existing products on the market.

Case in point:
http://snapsort.com/compare/Samsung-NX200-vs-Sony-NEX-5N
http://cdn.cultofandroid.com/w...-10-at-13.13.41-640x410.jpg

Other companies don't do this; at least regularly. Samsung is in a league of it's own in this respect. I don't understand how it's hard to see.

I have seen similar looking cameras from Sony, Samsung, Nikon, Canon, and others. There is only a certain way you can design things.

As far as the vacuum, the shape is the similar and that is about it. Dyson has the tech patented so no way for anyone to use that. I also doubt the Samsung vac performs as well.

Samsung got crazy with their first couple Galaxy lines of phones. They were found guilty and because of it, everyone will thing of Samsung as a copycat for a long time and Apple will continue to sue every new product that Samsung produces or could be a threat.

I dont get the Samsung device appeal. I got a LG G2 for a new phone and it is designed much better than the S2-S4 range of Samsung phones and just feels a lot better built. Also, Motorola is designing some good looking phones/devices as well as the Nexus series seemly getting more and more popular. Competition is building for Samsung but slowly. Which is a good thing since Samsung phones seem old looking, ugly, and just not appealing.

But anyway, I am rambling...

Edited by techbeck, Nov 19 2013, 4:25am :

Nashy said,

1. It's a camera. They don't design the lens, they have to make it that size. And a handle. What do you want them to do exactly with that type of camera?

2. Again, the technology calls for it to be designed like that.


You have seriously got to be ****ting me. You must be trolling or something. For years this fraudulent Korean company has replicated the products made by western companies, and this is your excuse? "technology calls for it to be designed like that"? I can understand if it just so just happen to be one product (http://cdn.mactrast.com/wp-con...ng-Galaxy-S-iPhone-Copy.jpg), but when it does so with many different products across different categories, including refrigerators, then there's only one conclusion to draw.

techbeck said,

I have seen similar looking cameras from Sony, Samsung, Nikon, Canon, and others. There is only a certain way you can design things.

As far as the vacuum, the shape is the similar and that is about it. Dyson has the tech patented so no way for anyone to use that. I also doubt the Samsung vac performs as well.

Samsung got crazy with their first couple Galaxy lines of phones. They were found guilty and because of it, everyone will thing of Samsung as a copycat for a long time and Apple will continue to sue every new product that Samsung produces or could be a threat.

I dont get the Samsung device appeal. I got a LG G2 for a new phone and it is designed much better than the S2-S4 range of Samsung phones and just feels a lot better built. Also, Motorola is designing some good looking phones/devices as well as the Nexus series seemly getting more and more popular. Competition is building for Samsung but slowly. Which is a good thing since Samsung phones seem old looking, ugly, and just not appealing.

But anyway, I am rambling...


No dude. Samsung was well understood to be a knockoff company long before the iPhone allegation. It just so happen that the iPhone was the most mainstream product of the many that it copied. This is what they've been doing for literally decades.

Seetheworldsecond said,
Im really glad I didnt waste my money on this over price smart watch, maybe if it was for 150.00 USD.

There is an 9th grader I know who got this for his birthday. I'm actually surprised they even sold that many.

I think the idea of a smartwatch, as designed today is a flop, not so much that samsung made it. Watches today are objects of craft, the design perfected over a good few hundred years of watchmaking. The "smartwatches" are damn ugly.

They either need to break free of the watch idea (eg, make some other wearable tech, such as Google's glass project) or fit a functional and useful device into a slick watch profile.