Samsung Makes Grab for Your Wrist with Galaxy Gear

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Samsung isn't waiting to see what Apple has in store for wearable technology. The electronics maker plans to introduce its own smartwatch called Galaxy Gear on September 4, just days ahead of Apple's still unannounced iPhone media event.

Samsung's Galaxy Gear SmartwatchThe Galaxy Gear launch was confirmed by Samsung Mobile executive vice president Lee Young Hee, according to the Korea Times. The smartwatch is being called a concept device by the company, so Samsung has a fairly easy path open for backtracking should the Galaxy Gear fail to gain traction with consumers.

News of the watch isn't a surprise. Samsung confirmed back in March that it was working on a smart watch, although at the time the company didn't offer a time frame for when to expect it's official launch.

"The Gear won't have a flexible display. The new device will enhance and enrich the current smart mobile experience in many ways. It will lead a new trend in smart mobile communications. We are confident that the Gear will add meaningful momentum to the mobile industry," Samsung's Lee said.

Samsung isn't offering up any other details about the watch yet, so we'll have to wait until its unveiling in Berlin on September 4. What we're expecting, however, is that it will be running some flavor of Android OS and will have a way to wirelessly communicate with other devices.

With rumors that Apple is working on its own smartwatch, dubbed iWatch by analysts, it's no surprise that Samsung is getting in on the game. Apple hasn't confirmed that it is, in fact, building an iWatch product, or offered any hints as to when it may ship. By calling the Galaxy Gear a concept device, it looks like Samsung is rushing its smartwatch out the door to beat Apple to market, and presumably grab up early mindshare, too.

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Samsung isn't excited about the idea of letting Apple take marketshare, even in a space where the iPhone and iPad maker isn't even playing yet. By introducing the Galaxy Gear now Samsung does have a chance of snapping up some of the smartwatch mindshare, but good luck keeping that should Apple really introduce its own wearable device.

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This relates to what Woz said in the video posted on TMO yesterday. (He said Samsung was a well established electronics vendor in many markets, while Apple was coming from the umbrella of small market share Macs.)

Woz said competition with Samsung would be interesting, so I wouldn’t discount Samsung’s watch so easily. Samsung’s watch will probably be the obvious. Apple’s, if they choose to release something, probably will be quite different. But then Samsung will just copy Apple’s and still can claim being in the smart watch market first, completely hyping over the fact that they had ugly ones before Apple showed them what a better one looked like. (Sound like what happened with phones, anyone?)


Maybe. Apple has very strong pull with their integrated iOS devices, but no one knows what they’re going to produce (if anything at all), and their success in this space isn’t preordained. Obviously the very rumor of them doing a wearable device is enough to strike fear in their competitors, though! smile

Personally, I think the success of a wearable device isn’t weighed on “what are its features?” as much as “how does this improve my lifestyle?”. This sort of thing will most likely only be classified as an accessory; and for someone like me who doesn’t ever wear a watch or jewelry, that’s a hard sell, no matter who makes it.



This sort of thing will most likely only be classified as an accessory; and for someone like me who doesn’t ever wear a watch or jewelry, that’s a hard sell, no matter who makes it.

That’s an excellent point. In the 1980s digital watches were all the rage, and the more things like calculators you could cram into them, the better. Today watches, for those who wear them, are far more about fashion than function. (Anyone else get spam for “genuine replica Rolex watches”???)

I’ve read plenty of articles and seen first-hand that amongst the younger set, few if any wear a watch anymore. I don’t wear one, and I’m certainly not one of the younger set. And those I do see wearing watches invariably sport an analog watch in a fashionable metal case and band, in other words, jewelry that tells time and nothing else.

Has anyone seen a Pebble or other smart watch in the wild yet? I haven’t, and I think the big barrier to adoption with any smart watch is that it will have to be just as fashionable as the analogs most people wear, and not look like something pulled from the Casio display at Sears.

If Apple is indeed going to compete in this space, this product, perhaps more than any other, is going to really have to hit it out of the park with design, and every bit of metal and glass craftsmanship that Sir Ive can muster.


I also don’t wear a wrist watch any longer. Anything made by Apple in this category would have to offer a compelling reason in order to entice me to put something back on my wrist.


I’m turning 60 on the 3rd. I haven’t worn a watch (or a ring, ever) since the age of 13 - and my Dad designed for Elgin !! I don’t know if it’s the guitar playing or pen & ink/airbrush drawing I do but I never liked the feeling of crap on my wrist & fingers.  Consequently, I care not about wearable tech. but then again, I don’t care about owning a smartphone either. So, I’ll continue to sit on the sidelines and lob grenades at the Clones out there that actually think these toys matter.


Gawd,  that watch is hideous!


What seems to be forgotten is that Apple introduced a “smart watch” several years ago in the form of the iPod nano which included in addition to the hour and minute the weekday, and the date. In addition the iPod nano included an FM radio and the ability to store a library of music. One could purchase a wristband so that the nano could be worn. I am one who has one on a band and I wear it, quite often getting questions from those who notice it.


“I am one who has one on a band and I wear it, quite often getting questions from those who notice it.”

You don’t also happen to own an Edsel, by any chance, do you?
Just kidding.

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