My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Samsung Galaxy Gear is king of the 61% Strong Android hold on Smartwatches

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Gear is king of the 61% Strong Android hold on Smartwatches

I totally expected this, but not in such dramatic fashion. Stats out from Strategy Analytics, albeit a bit premature, have already handed victory to the Samsung Galaxy Gear with 61% dominance of the Smartwatch Market in 2013 as stated in Android nabs 61 percent of smartwatch market in 2013”, published February 13, 2014 8:58 AM PST by Don Reisinger, CNET News.

This flies directly in the face of the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch that’s trying to be all things in one device that’s barely got enough charge to last longer than a smartwatch or even like a regular watch as I’d opined in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Samsung Gear Smartwatch is too Dick Tracey and not Simple enough to want you to Rock the Future on your Wrist”.

To put this in better perspective, only 1.9 million smartwatches were shipped worldwide in 2013. According to Strategy Analytics, of that number, only 1.2 million devices were running Android. And of that number, 61% were Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatches

The remaining 39% of the smartwatch arena is taken up by such competitors as the Pebble and the Nike Fuelband as described in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Caribbean rides the Fitness Craze as Nike Fuelband SE making Apple iPhone users healthier”, which tell time and are synched to a smartphone, basic par for course for a watch to be considered “smart” these days! Android fanboys, you do love your tech to death!

Early days Yet as Apple is yet to step into the Smartwatch Battle

However, note that I said “Premature”; Apple hasn’t stepped into the fray as yet, as it’s alledged by a New York Times Report in early February 2014 that they are working on a smartwatch.

Apparently this mystery product is possibly covered with sapphire glass, powered by Solar and Kinetic Motion and recharged Inductively as stated in my blog article entitledApple considering Inductive, Solar and Kinetic Charging for Apple iWatch - Apple iWatch will start the Post-Power Adapter Era and kill the power Brick, the last vestage of the Analog Era”.

This is roughly the same thing I’d predicted prematurely in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Apple to debut Apple iWatch in March 2013 – iWant one and iCant Wait”. Smartwatches are set to be big sellers due to their lower possible pricing point, fashion forward statement as wearable tech and hoped-for synchability with pre-existing technology such as smartphones and Tablets.

But the main reason driving the smartwatch adoption is their utilitarian vibe as Fitness Trackers. According to a 1,500 strong Survey done by On Device Research back in September 2013 as reported in Wearable technology far from tipping point”, published Wednesday September 4, 2013 @ 8:22, On Device, the following interesting stats as it relates to interest in smartwatches came to light:

1.      40% of those early adopters eventually stopped wearing their smartwatch because it got dated
2.      50% knew about wearable fitness trackers
3.      50% of US smartphone users surveyed had heard about Google Glass
4.      65% knew of smartwatches

Some graphics offers a better picture of the level of waning interest among smartwatch wearers, who often wear these gadgets, then put them aside as they get bored of them easily as stated in my blog article entitled “On Device Research Survey indicates Smartwatches are set to be the next must-have Gadget - Improved Design and battery Life needed to make them less Frozen in the past”.


Smartwatches need to go mainstream - Real bling-bling pret-a-porter that Jamaicans can rock

So albeit the Samsung Galaxy Gear rules the roost, they’re victors in numbers only; they have to also win the minds and soul of wearers and sustain interest in wearing these maintenance-prone smartwatches by making them have the following qualities I’ve argued for in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Samsung Gear Smartwatch is too Dick Tracey and not Simple enough to want you to Rock the Future on your Wrist”.

1.      Smartwatches that are fitness Trackers
2.      Smartwatches with Battery life comparable to regular watches
3.      Smartwatches that are synchable and multi-purpose with any device, including Cars and Home Appliances
4.      Smartwatches that are pret-a-porter and look like regular wristwatches wearable with whatever you have to wear

Samsung seems to have achieved that with the Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo that have both made their at the MWC (Mobile World Conference) in Barcelona Spain on Monday February 24th 2014 as stated in my blog article entitled “Samsung launches improved Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 and Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 Neo at MWC - Launch pad for Tizen OS and the Samsung Galaxy Glass coming at IFA 2014”.

Until another significantly big player enters the market, such as Apple, I’m not throwing in the towel as yet. Mass Market adoption depends on a smartwatch for everyone. These stats are an indication of interest; now for some real bling-bling pret-a-porter that even we Jamaicans can rock on our wrist!
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