2013-09-17

Samsung's first smartwatch could soon be obsolete as second version looms

Article cited from www.theguardian.com by Smartphonebay.net
Galaxy Gear
Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch received a lukewarm response on its unveiling. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/REUTERS
Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch released earlier in September could be obsolete within months as it works on a new version. according to reports from Korea.
The Gear was unveiled on 4 September amid huge anticipation about the potential of "wearable computing" at the IFA show in Berlin.
But early responses were lukewarm, with testers pointing to the stated battery life of just 25 hours, and the limited number of devices with which the Gear can communicate - presently just the Galaxy Note 3 "phablet" and Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, though more are expected to be added.
The launch was seen by some as having been rushed after rumours emerged earlier in the year that Apple was working on an "iWatch" - reckoned to be a smart watch of some form. That was reinforced after the US company registered the iWatch trademark in Japan, and last week described a new "M7" processor in its new top-end 5s iPhone which could be used to monitor movement.
At the time of the Gear launch Ian Fogg, director for mobile and telecoms at research company IHS commented that the Gear was "a prototype masquerading as a commercial product—and because of that, it is unlikely to be successful in the market." He said that "the device exhibits multiple shortcomings, including a high price tag, a short battery life, its status as a companion device and its limited compatibility. The bottom line is the Galaxy Gear smartwatch probably will not succeed in the market and Samsung will need to try again with a more refined product."
Other testers noted that there was a noticeable time lag in trying to operate the device's tiny touch screen, and that the menus were unintuitive. The inclusion of speakers, a microphone and a camera puzzled them - and the $299 price was criticised as too high.
Now a report in Daum, based in Samsung's homeland of South Korea, suggests that the Galaxy Gear was "just the first… to determine the market reaction" and that an upgraded version, perhaps to be announced in January at the US Consumer Electronics Show (CES) or March's Mobile World Congress (MWC), would also offer location-based services via a built-in GPS chip.
Samsung had not responded to a request for comment by publication time.
The smartwatch and broader "wearable computing" categories are expected to become an important market. But analysts have been less persuaded by Samsung's launch into the market.
IHS reckons that smartwatch shipments will hit 268,000 in 2013, of which a large number will be from the Californian company Pebble, which has shipped more than 100,000 units and is on sale in a number of US retail chains, and Sony, which has launched its second-generation smartwatch.
IHS says that shipments will rise sharply in 2014, but only to 2.6m units. "In the longer term, shipments are expected to reach much higher volumes, with units rising to nearly 39m units in 2018," it notes.
Comment from Smartphonebay.net Staff:
Samsung Galaxy Gear got to be great if it is not followed by the release of new generation of their smartwatch within a flash. During the Galaxy Gear first release, the interval between the first generation and second generation is not enough. As a consumer, we don't want our mobile device in use looked out-dated and seem like an older generation product. Samsung should learn from Google not to be too Greedy to make money by keep producing new generation of mobile device while the function is not having a great improve!! Consumer are not stupid to chase after Samsung for new generation product!!