Will Indian Consumers Say ‘Yes’ To Samsung Gear?

by Sohini Bagchi    Jan 17, 2014

samsunggear

Samsung is betting big on the wearable device market. Even though in 2013, the company’s venturing into the wearable gadget segment which Samsung Galaxy Gear met with tepid sales and poor reviews, it is focusing even more on its target market and price points with these devices.

For example, keeping in mind the expanding market of wearable gadgets in India, Samsung has slashed the price the Galaxy Gear smartwatch in the country, reads a TOI report. It states that Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which was earlier listed in the Indian market for Rs 22,990, is now available at Rs 19,075 and can now be purchased from Samsung’s online store.

The main focus of the smartwatch is to allow users to keep their phones in their pockets and perform simple tasks from the watch, such as reading notifications and email. The launch of Samsung’s Gear was seen as a triumph against its major rival Apple, which is said to be launching its iWatch sometime this year. But the Gear have received flaks from various markets ever since its launch. Critics panned Samsung’s Galaxy Gear for its limited functionality, poor battery life, and bulky body. According to a CNN report, even Chinese counterfeiters who sell knockoff iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones aren’t too hot on Samsung’s smart watch, the Galaxy Gear.

Despite the poor reviews, Samsung says it has shipped at least 800,000 Galaxy Gears globally since its release in Fall last year.

[Read: Samsung and rivals all set for the wrist show]

Mobile evangelist Matt Schulz states in his blog that even though these smartwatches have brought a new form factor to the fore, users expect a lot more from these devices. Of the various reasons why the Galaxy Gear smartwatch has failed to create magic, the most obvious one Schulz observes is that currently, the Gear only works with some Samsung devices, which is a drawback, besides the fact that many people do not wear a watch today in the age of smartphones. Secondly, there isn’t any brand-new technology in the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. He notes that a new technology such as a hologram, a new gaming apps or payment system would make the Gear a must-have device.

Finally and most importantly, it comes with a high price tag. The price point on the Gear is too high for a device that offers users similar functionality to what they already have on their smartphones. It is this weakness that the Gear had fewer chances of making a mark in emerging markets such as India. Indian consumers may go for it when prices come down a bit.

Experts believe a smartwatch could be more viable if it has more apps to make the device innovative and useful. And the second criterion is that it should be worth the price tag for greater customer adoption - a strategy it now wishes to follow in the Indian market. Are the Indian tech enthusiasts listening?

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