A skeptical public may need to reevaluate the potential for wearables after Samsung reported 300,000 units sold of its Galaxy Gear Smartwatch in just the first two months on the market. That's $90 million in gross sales revenue. If the company can maintain those sales figures for an entire year, the smartwatch adds $540 million to Samsung's bottom line.
Granted, these figures pale in comparison to handhelds. In the first two months on the market, Apple's iPhone 5S sold 5,150,000 units. Samsung's phones have been selling at an impressive clip as well. Still, for all the criticism and skepticism surrounding the launch of the smartwatch, moving hundreds of thousands of units in a totally new product category is impressive.
Apple's rumored smartwatch is said to ship sometime in 2014. Many other wearables will also launch in the coming year, including Google Glass and several other eyewearable devices. Time will tell if they realize the potential of mobile and begin to grab significant market share from handhelds. The potential for wearables appears limitless if new product designs and mobile apps can enable people to more seamlessly integrate communication and computing into their lives.
In addition to the Galaxy Gear watch, two other smartwatches are currently available--both cheaper than the Samsung device. The Pebble is water-resistant, lists for $149 and has a wide range of apps available. The Sony SmartWatch 2 offers a more robust Android platform and lists for $199. Only the Galaxy Gear enables photos and phone calls. It remains to be seen how Apple's smartwatch stacks up but so far the devices function as accessories for the phone.