Regardless of some purposeful deficiencies at launch, it appears Samsung has had little hassle promoting its Galaxy Gear smartwatch over the past two months. This morning Reuters is reporting that the company has sold 800,000 of the wearable devices since its late September launch — all the more significant as for much of that time it required a Galaxy Note 3 to operate. Initial sales of the device exceeded Samsung’s own expectations, according to the report.
Early reviews, including our own, criticized the Gear’s compatibility limitations and poor support for non-Samsung apps. Since then Samsung has updated the Galaxy S4, S3 and Note 2 with support for the Gear, and a recent update to the phone-based Gear Manager app allows it to display notifications from any Android app, a feature which was bizarrely absent at launch.
While shifting almost a million units of what remains an accessory for a small number of smartphones is a significant achievement, there’ve been less enthusiastic signs from buyers at one U.S. store. Best Buy reportedly experienced return rates as high as 30 percent in October, despite a high attachment rate among Note 3 buyers.