Samsung just held their big Unpacked 2017 event a short while ago to reveal the new Galaxy Note 8 smartphone. In an interview with CNBC, Samsung’s DJ Koh revealed the company has more mobile market devices ready to be launched including a new Gear S smartwatch device to be announced at IFA 2017 next week. Just like Samsung has tried to time their Galaxy Note 8 launch ahead of Apple’s next iPhone reveal, a new Gear S smartwatch revealed at IFA 2017 might give Samsung a small jump on a potential Apple Watch announcement later in September.
Like some other product categories, at one time smartwatches were believed to be the next huge wave where manufacturers could make a ton of sales. That never really panned out as expected as early adopters struggled to justify the high costs of the devices which in turn muted the rest of the buying market.
Nevertheless, Samsung has continued to plug along as a player. Although sales may not be as large as once hoped, Samsung did manage to ship 1.4 million units during the first quarter of 2017, which was growth of 90 percent year over year. Currently Samsung holds on to 5.5 percent of the market. In contrast, Apple is sitting on a 14 percent market share.
Samsung’s last true smartwatch device was 2016’s Gear S3 which came in two versions. Currently the company also has a fitness oriented device, the Gear Fit, on the market. Koh believes it is in the health and fitness oriented category where companies can make some headway in the market. Koh notes though that the current state of sensor technology is insufficient for the kinds of apps and monitoring that consumers seem to be interested in.
Look for our coverage from IFA 2017 next week to see what Samsung may announce in terms of a smartwatch device.