back to article 'PATHETIC' Galaxy Gear sales skewer smartwatch HYPE-O-GASM bubble

Despite its much-ballyhooed kickoff, Samsung has sold far fewer of its Galaxy Gear smartwatches than it would have liked, sources say. According to BusinessKorea, the smartphone kingpin has sold just 50,000 of the wrist-mounted gadgets since launching them in September, which translates into global sales of 500-800 units per …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now even I as something of an Apple fan can recognise the order, pacing and points raised in this article appear carefully weighted to kick off the biggest possible comment shit-storm/bust-up possible. This is The Register equivalent of a ten year old, putting a spider and a wasp in a jam jar putting the lid on (with breathing holes cunningly pierced) and giving it a shake. Come on Register! Do you really think we can be roped in so easily. So, i'll just say,... The Galaxy Gear,... is a very nice,... watch.

    1. Thorne

      Yeah but I'm not spending that kind of money on it. It's not exactly life changing (yet)

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Exactly, it's pretty expensive given what it delivers and it's too 1.0 right now. I have a decent, cheapest watch right now ($100 \ 70 quid citizen ecodrive) which any $300 smart watch should at least match in a few areas.

        It's a given that battery life will not match, but 3-4 days should be a reality and the battery should be replaceable. Apple probably have an advantage there as they have a retail network who can probably deliver instore battery changes.

        It should be waterproof and robust. It doesn't need to be able to go to 200ft, but should cope with basic snorkeling and skin diving (30ft give or take, if a lardy yorkshire prop can do it, a $300 watch should be able to) plus the occasional bang against a rock.

        The screen should be daylight readable without killing the battery.

        Now once you have a few basics matched you then need some very convincing reasons for me to shell out the extra cost. From what I have seen it has some nice features, but no killer awesomeness. There will always be people who buy stuff because it's new, but theres the rest of us who need compelling reasons. I bought a note 3 because it's freaking awesome, for me it'd entirely worth the $700. $300 to avoid having to pull your phone out of your pocket to see who the email was from? (then you'll actually pull the phone out anyway to respond half the time). Oh and I will likely need to buy another in 2 to 3 years whereas a normal watch will last considerably longer and isn't a theft magnet?

        The idea has potential, but I think they are lacking some killer practical uses, the price is too high and there are too many compromises, lets see what future ones manage (and even current ones once independent devs start rolling stuff out). Perhaps there is potential for GPS \ satnav related uses?

        1. Valerion

          >>Exactly, it's pretty expensive given what it delivers and it's too 1.0 right now. I have a decent, cheapest watch right now ($100 \ 70 quid citizen ecodrive) which any $300 smart watch should at least match in a few areas.

          You just precisely described Pebble.

          Cost - £100 (Kickstarter), so only £30 more than your Citizen. Not sure what RRP is.

          Battery - 3-4 days easily

          Waterproof - Yep

          Daylight Readable Screen - Yep.

          And of course it'll work with IOS and Android out of the box.

          1. phuzz Silver badge

            Couple of notes about the Pebble, cost was something like £90, but racked up another £25 on the way through customs, and the battery life on mine is at least 7 days.

            1. Rampant Spaniel

              That's great, so the Pebble is practical and sensibly priced. I did look at it when it was posted on kickstarter but I figured I would wait to see what functionality people added. Perhaps it's just me but whilst it is well built, well priced and isn't hobbled by a short battery life, it lacked any killer features. It's good, but is there something there that wows you. Useful yes, awesome? Having said that, it's the smart watch I would most likely buy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It doesn't add to any mobile experience does it, not to mention you have to keep charging the thing and it looks naff.

      Invention for inventions sake doesn't always translate into a product worth buying.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Unlikely Apple will bother now that they have seen the results of Samsungs sales unless of course they have a better product.

  2. Phormic

    Apple, fanbois, copy, iSheep, fandroid, round corners, holding it wrong, Samsung, plagiarism, copyright infringement, fashion statement, Steve Jobs, such and such did it first, lack of innovation, it's all because of marketing, blatant rip-off.

    There we go. To save us time, I managed to cross off all the Register comment thread, flame war clichés in one fell swoop.

    1. Snapper

      You forgot..

      Walled Garden, shiny, overpriced and "it'll get viruses soon, just you wait".

  3. Lee D Silver badge

    Give product to random people.

    Ask if they like it.

    Ask if they would pay £X to own it (vary X at random).

    After enough tests you will learn a) how many people like it, b) how many of them would buy it and c) how much they'd pay for it.

    I would imagine Samsung has done exactly that. Selling 50,000 units isn't to be sniffed at (1% of the sales of that tablet - and what kind of market were you ever expecting for a device that NEEDS you to own another expensive Samsung device) - that's 25 times the amount of Surfaces that MS shipped to the UK for the launch.

    It's just what you expect, really. Nobody's going to buy them for the price they cost to manufacture. We've known this all along. And quite what they offer to someone who already owns a compatible (don't go there!) phone/tablet is a bit of a mystery.

    But, still, 50,000 units isn't bad for such a niche item.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'But, still, 50,000 units isn't bad for such a niche item.'

      50,000 units of something they are now making a loss with. Not bad is it?

      1. Professor Clifton Shallot

        "50,000 units of something they are now making a loss with."

        They probably are but if there is going to be a real market for these devices they have already got a toehold on that market and have a one iteration jump in real-world experience on some of their rivals.

        I am not convinced they have the right sort of device myself (I have bought a Pebble which seems to have got more right) but they will be learning from this and they can afford the financial loss as long as it doesn't translate to loss of brand reputation.

    2. Mark .

      Indeed, I find it curious the way that the media declare certain figures to be successes or failures. "One million in 76 days" is declared a runaway success for Apple, but the same figure is a "failure" for Nokia's first Lumia, or for the Surface Pro's equivalent 400,000 in a month.

      Though given that the true figure for a Gear seems to be 800,000 not 50,000 (see my other comment - therefore on par with the iphone, Lumia 800 and Surface Pro), I wonder if this kind of article works in Samsung's favour - the standard has been set at 50,000, and then Samsung reveal the true figure at over 10 times higher, it makes it look a lot more impressive. Yet if the initial report was for 800,000, a journalist wanting to report it negatively could have declared it a "failure" if they so chose.

  4. SteveCarr

    I'm one of those millions with the Note 3, sans Gear....

    The Note 3 was enough of a $ to spend, and the local price of the Gear too big an ask for what it does.

    Sorry, Samsung - no sale.

  5. JeevesMkII

    I have to wonder...

    If the Apple Smartwatch was a cunning ploy to waste all their competitors time. It'd be genius. Put about a rumour that you're about to release a revolutionary new piece of consumer electronic tat that'll open up a whole new market sector, then point and laugh as all your rivals put out their own competitor to your phantom product that predictably flops on the market.

    OK, not very likely, but it makes a hell of a lot more sense than actually developing a watch.

  6. Oh Homer

    It's not because it's Samsung

    It's simply that wearing a calculator "smart" watch is possibly the naffest thing imaginable.

  7. Medixstiff

    Well they didn't exactly help themselves..

    My friend called me the other day complaining about his new Samsung watch, didn't work with his S3.

    Now why anyone in their right minds would cut themselves out of such a HUGE market such as the S3 owners club makes one wonder about the number of brain cells in Samsung HQ.

    Of course now they are saying a future patch will allow the S3 to synch with their newest toy but why didn't they think of this in the first place?

    1. Mark .

      Re: Well they didn't exactly help themselves..

      They bought a Samsung Note 3 companion product, and complained it doesn't work with the S3?

      I don't know why they've limited the market - perhaps initial production runs are small, perhaps they want to refine it to get it right before testing it on a larger market, perhaps research showed Note owners would be more likely to buy it, so would be a better choice if they initially only were targetting one phone.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In a digital world...

    I kinda like that my watch is analogue. It is a beautifully crafted precision instrument that does what it's supposed to, not to mention costs 3x the price of a galaxy gear smartwatch - so I don't see myself giving it up anytime soon. I'm still to be convinced of the benefit of such a device. Okay so you can hold your hand up to your head to make a call with your watch, big deal, we already do that with handsets and it's not like they're particularly heavy these days. Or if you don't mind people calling you names behind your back there are plenty of Bluetooth headsets out there where you literally don't have to lift a finger.

    Oh, so I can get a message through on my watch while I'm in a meeting can I? Okay, how do I send one back covertly so the Boss doesn't see my attention has been diverted? More to the point if it is so you can receive "important" messages, I'm pretty sure nobody is going to mind if a receptionist etc enters the meeting to tell me my wife has gone into labour or whatever.

    To get alerts the "old fashioned" way takes about the same amount of time.

    What else have you got?

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: In a digital world...

      "What else have you got?"

      Nothing that would convince you these are not just gimmicks I am sure but perhaps enough to convince some people they are gimmicks they would quite like to have.

      I don't know about the Gear but the Pebble I have has proved to be a waste of money I am enjoying rather than one I am regretting.

      The watch is a handy place to have the music controls for my phone and I like being able to see the contents of texts and emails quickly - it means the phone can stay in a coat pocket or a bag or on my desk or wherever without me missing anything fun, and it also means I can skip over the cruft that much more quickly.

      It's not 'magical' and it hasn't changed my life but it has amused my friends who regularly take advantage of the fact that they can make rude word pop up on my wrist any time they like.

  9. Tim Parker

    Smart-Watch In Poor Sales Shocker.

    Who'd have guessed ?

  10. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

    "Just" 50,000 units sold

    That's impressive. It's about 49,999 more than I'd have predicted.

    1. Lusty

      Re: "Just" 50,000 units sold

      Sold into the channel, not to customers...

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  12. sandman

    Got a watch

    There's this lump of stainless steel on my wrist - tells the time and date. It's waterproof, doesn't mind being dropped and doesn't even have a battery. I find each one lasts a decade or more before getting lost/nicked or suffering some sort of major catastrophe.

    Why in the name of Satan and all his little imps would anyone actually want something less functional, aesthetically pleasing, durable and reliable?

    1. A 31

      Re: Got a watch

      Couldn't agree more

      If somehow my watch could remain exactly the same, but the smart screen pop on the display when I need it ... maybe ... just maybe.. I'd be tempted

      A watch is far more than a time/date display in most cultures, it is far more than a device

      it is not even a question of money, a lot of people will pay hefty sums for a good and fashionable watch

      Let's hope the next smart watch manufacturer has the good idea to work with successful watch makers ...

  13. Mark .

    Samsung disagrees - claims 800,000 in two months - and lots of other news reports.

    It wouldn't have surprised me if the Gear's sales were low - I think there is a big market for watches eventually, but the Gear is limited (initially) to one phone, and has a high price. But still, it seems that the Register have jumped to the wrong conclusion on this, as Samsung say it's selling quite nicely.

    As an aside, I think the last paragraph is wrong? 50,000 out of 7.125 billion is 0.000007 as a fraction, so 0.0007%. Sales of 800,000 would be 0.01%. So in other words, the Register got it wrong by over three orders of magnitude...

  14. Sporkinum

    Pocket watch

    Cell phones are the modern pocket watch. Once I got issued a phone at work, I quit wearing a watch. I think the reason behind lack of sales is that carrying a phone is good enough for most.

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