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Samsung unveils Galaxy Gear smartwatch; new Galaxy Note

by Hayley Tsukayama
Publication: Washington Post

September 4, 2013


Samsung took a big leap into the world of wearable tech Wednesday, releasing a smartwatch that the company hopes will solidify its place atop the consumer electronics market.

Samsung executive JK Shin showed off the Galaxy Gear on his wrist at a launch event in Berlin. The Gear will come in six colors — Shin’s was a sort of tangerine — and have a camera.

The launch comes at a critical time for the South Korean company. There’s no doubt that Samsung’s mobile communications unit has been on an incredible growth spurt over the past few years. Worldwide, according to the analysis firm IDC, the company commands a 30 percent share of the smartphone market, compared with the 13 percent claimed by its chief rival, Apple.

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The high price point may be a stumbling block for consumers who may balk at buying a watch that costs as much as a smartphone, said Brian Proffitt, an adjunct instructor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business.

But there’s a lot of potential in the market going forward, he said. “It’ll be the usual cycle of adoption,” Proffitt said. “The super geeks will come out and pick these things up .?.?. and if they start to generate that marketing and sales buzz, others will come out with cheaper models.”

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