Samsung really wants the Galaxy Gear to be a success. Can they make it happen through sheer force of will alone?
The electronics giant has shipped more than 800,000 units of its first smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Gear, to retailers. According to various media reports, only around 50,000 of those watches have actually been sold to end users – that’s a rate of just over six percent.
The watch itself has been derided by nearly every writer who’s used it and written a blog post or article on the subject, and is rumored to have engendered a return rate of 30% or more at retailer Best Buy.
Still, Samsung declares the Galaxy Gear to be a success, reportedly beating its own internal projections to become “the most sold wearable watch available in the market place.” That particular sentence could be viewed a number of ways, but competitor Pebble, whose own e-ink-equipped smartwatch got its start from a successful Kickstarter campaign, has sold over 85,000 watches of its own design – and that number is six months old.
Given Samsung’s marketing budget, it’s possible that the company could spend its way to a moderately successful product. If they really want it to take off, however, they’re going to need to make it easier for everyone to use.