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Too “Smart” for Its Own Good

On September 4, JK Shin, head of Mobile Communications at Samsung, walked onstage at a conference in Berlin and unveiled the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, the coolest new piece of technology that would revolutionize the watch industry and replace all conventional time-telling devices.

This announcement was a big deal for Samsung. Many people viewed its smartphones, such as the Galaxy S4 and the Note, were competent imitations of the iPhone, and this watch was its chance to get ahead. Analysts and tech experts alike had predicted a watch like this would first come from Apple and then competitors would release their own versions. But Samsung beat everyone to the chase with its time to gain dominance over industry rivals.

The smart watch, equipped with phone, email, weather forecasting, and camera capabilities, is something one would only expect Tony Stark (Ironman) to have. It is truly a genius invention. Not even Rolex or Panerai have yet put such technology into their watches.

But, despite all the cool features loaded into this device, it has produced less than satisfactory results. According to documents leaked by BestBuy, this watch has a return rate of roughly 30%. The price tag is also an unattractive aspect: retailing for $299.99 with the requirement of a Samsung smartphone to be used with it. This is not a cheap item.

Perhaps the main question is: “Are people ready for such a device?” It is so advanced compared to the rest of the industry, especially seeing that less than a century ago, a lot of people still carried watches around in their pockets. We are living in an age of such rapid technological development that customers sometimes have a hard time keeping up with the latest gadgets and can not seem to justify buying such products.

It might be too soon to pass judgment, however, for consumer spending has been down recently, and people might be saving for the holiday season for the right deals. As of right now, though, it seems as if the smartwatch might be too smart for its own good.

To learn more about the Galaxy Gear, visit

Written by Oliver Kornberg’16



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