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Samsung taking a time-out on smartwatches so that it can focus on making a better one
Samsung likes making smartwatches. This is an understanding one might come to, considering that the Korean giant is just one wearable away from having a different device for each day of the week. Let’s count them: the Galaxy Gear, the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo, the Gear Fit, the Gear Live, and the Gear S. In the weeks and months leading up to Mobile World Congress, we heard some rumors about a seventh wearable, one that would make use of the round patent which was filed last year. Nowhere is it to be seen, and the reason for it is a surprising one at that.
In a recent interview by the Wall Street Journal, Young-hee Lee, an EVP in charge of Samsung’s mobile marketing, was quoted as saying her company is “working on” the new one. She explains that, “We’ve been introducing more devices than anybody else…It’s time for us to pause,” and then adds “we want a more perfect product.”
Regardless of what one thinks about the Gear series, Ms. Lee definitely has a point about the number game; even its domestic rival LG has only managed to announce a third watch in the span of 8 months. Sony has three. Motorola has but one. Even companies like Asus and Huawei are just now starting to get into the game. And let’s not forget the sleeping giant in the arena, who despite the dizzying array of Android-compatible hardware, has yet to even announce a release date for its self-professed, magnum opus.
While the Gear S did bring a host of new functionality with it via the inclusion of a 3G radio for cellular calling and data transmission, it was nonetheless a plastic piece that doesn’t look as nice in comparison to some of the more recent offerings by competing companies such as the all metal LG Watch Urbane or Motorola Moto 360. By taking a breather of sorts, Samsung can rethink what kind of market it wants to target with its next product, and -perhaps more importantly- use feedback and reaction from that other smartwatch to help its own line.