Samsung's $299 Galaxy Gear smartwatch seeing 30% return rate in U.S.

Samsung announced its Galaxy Gear smartwatch last month with much fanfare, although not everyone was impressed. Some criticised the chunky build; others were frustrated by the limited device support, with only two of Samsung’s own devices compatible with it at launch. The cost was another issue for many – at $299, some saw it as overpriced, especially considering its limited functionality.

Nonetheless, some were able to look past those concerns to purchase the Android smartwatch, but it seems that many have come to regret that choice.

Documentation leaked to Geek.com reveals that over 30% of Galaxy Gears purchased at Best Buy stores across the U.S. have been returned. The reasons behind these returns remains unclear – indeed, it appears that even Samsung is in the dark over what has prompted so many refunds or exchanges.

According to the report, the company has tasked staff at its ‘Samsung Experience’ concessions within Best Buy stores with getting to the bottom of the problem. The attach rate – the proportion of smartphone buyers who also purchase the smartwatch – for the Galaxy Gear has apparently been higher at Best Buy outlets than anywhere else, yet the return rate remains problematic.

Samsung is pressing on with extending support for the Galaxy Gear to other devices in its range, including the S4 Mini, S4 Active, S4 Zoom, Mega 5.8 and Mega 6.3. Some rumours suggest that the company is already preparing a 'Galaxy Gear 2' to replace the first-gen device, which could be released in the first half of next year. 

Source: Geek.com | image via Samsung

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Why would you not return it if a new one comes out early 2014. lol Samsung with their 3 month updates on products

Well...I kept mind 4 days before selling it on eBay. I manage to use it for 4 days on a single charge. The 2 issues I had were, 1 - Right after I bought the Wild Orange one, they announced on their FB page a Rose Gold/White one which looks better - 2 - Boring. It was fun for about 30 mins. The main issue is apps. All the avail apps were mostly clock faces or have to do with running. I'm a cyclist so a magnet that sends beeps to the watch for speed and cadence would have been awesome.

But in all the device is cool and the design is very flexible and the camera takes very good picks for having no flash. But the device is boring. It needs apps, it needs games. I mean, I sideloaded Candy Crush for laughs, but it got boring too. If it had cool games like from the old days like pacman, or Mario or similar it would be cool. Hopefully it will get dev support.

With the apps, for 299 it is an expensive accessory that isn't worth the money. In fact since it onlyworks with one phone and one tablet at release it should have been 1/2 the cost.

this thing is useless. and this is why I never like samsung. all they do is marketing gimmicks. sometimes I think their marketing team rule the company. look at their processor, octa-core and it turns out dual core apple A7 outperform the hell out of it. another gimmick. the whole galaxy line is just over-inflated brand. cheap material, cheap design, badly chosen operational sounds (I am talking about those annoying water click and menu select sounds). just almost anything about it is gimmick. the only galaxy device interesting to me is galaxy note which very few people has it.

> it appears that even Samsung is in the dark over what has prompted so many refunds or exchanges.

Why would that be? What store even lets you return something without even asking why?

_dandy_ said,
> it appears that even Samsung is in the dark over what has prompted so many refunds or exchanges.

Why would that be? What store even lets you return something without even asking why?

Do stores record anything outside of "Faulty" or "Doesn't want" (I couldn't think of a better term of the top of my head)

I doubt they'll be recording specific reasons, even if the customer tells them exactly why (nor do I imagine most employees actually care.)

Presumably why Samsung are getting their employees to find out the exact reason(s)

boo_star said,
Do stores record anything outside of "Faulty" or "Doesn't want" (I couldn't think of a better term of the top of my head)

I doubt they'll be recording specific reasons, even if the customer tells them exactly why (nor do I imagine most employees actually care.)

Presumably why Samsung are getting their employees to find out the exact reason(s)

Then the problem is with the store. Not sure why any supplier would take back merchandise if retail store employees can't be bothered to do their job.

Lord Method Man said,
I believe most people are probably returning it because there's nowhere to connect a parallel printer cable to it. Worthless.

No IR sync either.

Do not want.

This, they never should have launched it for just the note 3. I bet thats why people returned it because they didn't have a note 3. While it will work for the other devices in the future, 2 to 3 months is far too long for carrier updates considering how fast people change phones now.

Gotenks98 said,
This, they never should have launched it for just the note 3. I bet thats why people returned it because they didn't have a note 3. While it will work for the other devices in the future, 2 to 3 months is far too long for carrier updates considering how fast people change phones now.
False. That is not why they returned it.

At launch it was announced it was avail only for the Note 3 and 10.1 2014 Edition...It also said that on the display at store, and I also saw resellers noting the same fact.

The return rate is do to it not having enough good apps to justify the cost. The other Gaalxy devices are support when updated to 4.3 which Samsung announced would happen in Oct which it has. Anyone with an International Note 2, GS3 and GS4 have the update already...for everyone else we have to wait for carrier testing.

The device which I did buy is boring which is why I resold mine. It just doesn't have enough apps for 299.99. It should only cost $99

Much prefer a Rolex, or something Swiss, with analog movement. I only check weather once a day, if that.

Now that you said it, just imagine someone periodically staring at his smartwatch refusing to believe what's the actual weather is like.

Gungel said,
There are actually people that bought this watch?
yep I did. I like it. Just not enough apps yet. Samsung should have had more avail at launch.

We already have tons of smart watches out there, but their not based upon smart phones. They're more for running/cycling computers, aviation computers, calculators, navigation and other cool things that this watch doesn't do.

spudtrooper said,
We already have tons of smart watches out there, but their not based upon smart phones. They're more for running/cycling computers, aviation computers, calculators, navigation and other cool things that this watch doesn't do.
WRONG...this watch does have running apps, calculator and more. Navigation? It does, just not on-screen yet.

TechieXP said,
WRONG...this watch does have running apps, calculator and more. Navigation? It does, just not on-screen yet.

so it has heart rate monitor / fitbit style tracking built in or just an app that does what a phone already does?

Apparently most people don't understand the importance of looking like a douche! (still not as douchy at those people obsessed with using Siri everywhere).

Spicoli said,
That's because the core concept is bad. No one wants a big clunky electronic watch. It's not 1980.

Nobody wants to carry a brick phone like we did in the 90's, yet the rednecks say that bigger is better and we now need a truck to haul our phones wherever we go.

Jose_49 said,
This is what you get by getting ahead of Apple

/s

I'd say it's more a case of what you get by foolishly making devices or adding features to existing ones that "analysts" claim Apple is developing in a vain attempt to stop Apple being able to say "First!"

Jose_49 said,
This is what you get by getting ahead of Apple

/s

apple has to sit on the sidelines with these products. Too big of a risk for them. I bet this watch will help apple more than Samsung because apple can fix some of the costumer complaints ..

They did it wrong. They hear a rumor about an apple product and then all companies start doing it to be the first of them. Well, so sorry samsung... Apple will not release an smartwatch never.

Pebble was the first. Samsung just tried to do something a little different. They didnt do it well and screwed up by limiting it to 1 or 2 devices.

And there are several rumors about Apple developing a watch. So I wouldnt be surprised to see one developed by Apple in the near future.

Pretty much. Smartwatches are a creation of the tech media speculating on what Apple's next big thing would be.

They talked about it so much the industry assumed that smartwatches were a thing and got on board.

techbeck said,
Pebble was the first. Samsung just tried to do something a little different. They didnt do it well and screwed up by limiting it to 1 or 2 devices.

And there are several rumors about Apple developing a watch. So I wouldnt be surprised to see one developed by Apple in the near future.

Actually the original Sony Smartwatch was out before the Pebble even got funding. "Smartwatches" have been around for ages, much like "Smartphones" had before the iPhone.

DomZ said,

Actually the original Sony Smartwatch was out before the Pebble even got funding. "Smartwatches" have been around for ages, much like "Smartphones" had before the iPhone.

Yes, of course if you want to get technical and go back several years. This is a new era/age and wasnt comparing the ones from long ago.

the ipod "color", the ipod video, the iphone and the ipod were also "tech media" speculation on what apple´s next thing would be. I think there was some buzz about the macbook air too.

and it's always been fueled by apple themselves. I believe this isn't any different, and that they are indeed exploring the damn thing.

Pretty much. If it were $99, then people might give it a glance. But at $300, people will just laugh at it. It'll probably have the same demise as Google Glass. It doesn't fill any market need, and it's priced way past anybody's curiosity.

Astra.Xtreme said,
It'll probably have the same demise as Google Glass. It doesn't fill any market need, and it's priced way past anybody's curiosity.

Google Glass is not for sale yet, you are paying $1500 to have the same privilege as a Google employee to beta test a device which is under development. You are directly paying for R&D and the entire cost of the unit for which the low volume production makes it that expensive.

True, but we can be fairly certain that it's going to be several hundred dollars when it comes to market. People are going to see very little value in these things.

MorganX said,
Ouch. If it's not a hardware failure I'm guess people are realizing this isn't as useful as it seems.
It is as useful, the problem is there are no really good apps to use it with yet. With time that could change. But for $300 its not worth it which is why I sold mine right away while the buying craze was out.

Astra.Xtreme said,
True, but we can be fairly certain that it's going to be several hundred dollars when it comes to market. People are going to see very little value in these things.

meh.. just get it on "Oprahs favourite things" and they will sell millions.. worked for ipad and Kinect.. oh that doesn't exist anymore