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Samsung scrambled to finish Galaxy Gear smart watch & beat Apple's rumored 'iWatch' to market

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
Samsung's recently released Galaxy Gear smart watch may be the product of a rushed development effort spurred on by rumors that Apple was preparing to enter the wearable technology segment in a big way.



The South Korean tech giant's latest smart watch offering debuted in September to no small amount of skepticism from tech observers. The device has since been widely panned in reviews, with critics pointing to its high price point, limited functionality, and poor battery life.

The device's failings may stem from a rushed development process, according to a new report from Cnet. That report paints a picture of a tech conglomerate able to take a device from concept to product in a matter of months, thanks to an authoritative management structure paired with a good deal of vertical supply chain integration.

Contrary to accusations that the company conceived and pushed out a watch device only after rumors emerged that Apple was working on the same, the report holds that Samsung had been working on Gear since 2011. Features of the product came out of consumer surveys conducted to see what customers most disliked about their smartphones.

We put all things together and said let's go for it.
? Samsung executive
Out of those surveys grew Gear aspects such as the in-band camera and the email notification system, and the concept of Gear began to coalesce. Top Samsung executives like CEO J.K. Shin soon threw their weight behind the project, but the company reportedly didn't get serious about building the device until the first quarter of this year, around the time that the Apple iWatch rumors began to heat up.

"We put all things together and said let's just go for it," one Samsung executive told Cnet of the decision to move forward.

Prior to that, the device existed largely in in the form of sketches, with a patent application showing off one possible design. The firm's U.S. arm ? charged with marketing and development for one of the most important tech markets ? had until then only seen a simple sketch of the smart watch, which was apparently in the design phase until shortly before its release. Samsung considered more than 100 designs before settling on the model it wound up revealing, and many of those working on the device or partnering with Samsung only had access to prototype designs. Most people working on the device had no idea what it would look like until Samsung showed it off in September.

Samsung Watch Patent
Samsung patent for a wrist watch computing device. | Source: Korean Intellectual Property Office.


Aspects such as the screws on the watch face were changed just days before Samsung's IFA keynote in Berlin. Samsung quickly produced new color variants of the device based on the suggestions of CEO Shin, with fast turnaround on such alterations made possible by the company's vertical supply integration.

The hardware design was not the only Gear aspect in flux; Samsung was also repeatedly tweaking the device's software. Gear's user interface color scheme, gesture controls, feature access points, and other items all underwent multiple changes in the weeks leading up to its unveiling. One Samsung executive says that the final release user interface looked completely different just one week before launch, with Samsung initially trying a standard Android-like app icon grid before settling on a tiled interface. The final release user interface looked completely different just one week before launch

The end result ? unveiled with a good deal of hype from the South Korean giant ? met with a tepid response at best, with reviewers praising some of the device's technical elements but bemoaning its multiple shortcomings. Samsung's smart watch, some said, was unable to to perform any truly "smart" functions.

Meanwhile, its rival Apple is still thought to still be working on its own wearable device. The iPhone maker reportedly has a team of 100 working on the device, which is said to pack a number of biometric sensors. Apple has also recently brought on talent from the worlds of fashion and fitness, possibly to work on its rumored wrist-mounted device.

Aside from possible Apple competition, the Galaxy Gear may have to contend with a wide range of wrist-targeted offerings over the next year. Sony already competes in the segment with a less expensive device that has received better reviews. Google is thought to be working on its own device for release in the near future, as is Microsoft. Chip maker Intel has also hired on talent from Nike and Oakley, possibly with the aim of entering the wearable segment.
post #2 of 61
There's a brave Scamsung. Way to go, take a guess at Apple's next move and try to beat it. But I bet you are a little worried about being way off target though eh? 1wink.gif
Edited by digitalclips - 10/2/13 at 12:03pm
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #3 of 61
This explains the corporate philosophies of both companies.

Apple: Let's create extraordinary products, and when they're ready we'll put them in the marketplace.

Samsung: Let's copy Apple, or just slap some crap together and rush it to market so we can be there first.
post #4 of 61
The second Apple ticks Samsung needs to tock. I call amateur hour has started again. As usual, their timing is off. Can we expect this thing to have 25 hours in a day, just to have that little bit ahead of its time?
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"Fibonacci: As easy as 1, 1, 2, 3..."
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post #5 of 61
This is what happens when you focus on first to market instead of building the right thing.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #6 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Samsung quickly produced new color variants of the device based on the suggestions of CEO Shin, with fast turnaround on such alterations made possible by the company's vertical supply integration.

I think Shin believes he's the new Jobs. Don't believe the (self-delusional) hype.

post #7 of 61
post #8 of 61
I've been saying the same thing as this article since the watch was first mentioned. We could see this strategy with their voice controlled tv.

Jobs says, in an interview for his bio that he's "cracked it". So commentators assume, rightly or wrongly, that it means Apple will use Siri in their tv. So Samsung rushes out a voice controlled tv. It gets poor reviews, as the voice control doesn't seem to really work. But the point is that Samsung can say they were first, and that now, for once, Apple is copying them.

So we see the same thing happen with all the watch rumors, and with Tim Cook saying that this wrist is an area of "intense interest" for Apple. Of course, like their tv, the watch doesn't do much, and what it does it doesn't do well. But that's beside the point. And they can always fix the design and functionality AFTER Apple comes out with theirs, assuming that they will.

We see this also with the gold phone. It's very amusing that in Samsung's appeal that they were first, and here they were, they state that; "We were making gold phones since before anyone wanted one". Yep, that's Samsung all right.
post #9 of 61
Quote:
"Samsung's recently released Galaxy Gear smart watch may be the product of a rushed development effort spurred on by rumors that Apple was preparing to enter the wearable technology segment in a big way"

It shows!

post #10 of 61
Samsung scrambled to finish Galaxy Gear smart watch TO beat Apple's rumored 'iWatch' to market.

FTFU.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #11 of 61
We all know that Apple's modus operendi has been to quietly observe the failings of others, then create their own vision of the product that avoids the pitfalls and exceeds expectations.

Now they may be taking that strategy to a new level. Not enough bad products out there to analyze? Poke the hornets nest with the stick of a rumored iWatch, sit back and watch the fun.

iWatch late next year thanks to Samsung's unwitting participation in Apple's product testing and evaluation program
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #12 of 61
GOOOOOOOOD LUUUUUUUUUUUCK!
post #13 of 61

Similarly, I produce a new "product" every day, aided by the extensive vertical supply chain integration of my digestive tract.

post #14 of 61

But...but...you know...innovation!!

post #15 of 61

I dont understand something.

 

Samsung has been working on this since 2011, but at the same time they finished it only in "6 months" with massive changes in the last few weeks of release displaying the strength of their vertical integration.

 

So which is it? 2 years, or 6 months?

 

And the review claims it is style over substance. While that does seem to have been Samsung's attitude while developing this POS, I will quibble and call it "lack of style over substance" (points at the exposed screws).

post #16 of 61

Yeah, and how did that work out for them? They've had crappy reviews on a horrid product.

post #17 of 61

Wow. Bad enough that they put their name on such a crap product, but then their excuse is that they rushed it to beat Apple?

Yeah, that's the kind of company with an eye towards quality that I want to do business with.

post #18 of 61
Apple should release the rumour of an iToilet into the wild, and see how fast Samsung announces theirs. This goes for Google, Microsoft and Sony as well! SamGooMicroSo should form a consortium and call it Mee2.
post #19 of 61

Since Kasper's Automated Slave is just regurgitating a press release, I hope someone in the mainstream press will call out Samsung on what is clearly a puff piece crafted to claim superiority in manufacturing. The Gear fiasco points to the huge missing pieces in their operation:  insight/intuition and design (all aspects).

post #20 of 61

Btw, that CNet article absolutely reads like a paid advertorial. It probably isn't as obvious as that, but I bet it's something like "Hey CNet, we will give you exclusive interviews with all our top guys if you write a positive article about the Gear's development". And while even CNet isn't going to stoop as low as to call the turd that is this "smart"watch a decent product, they made it about Samsung, and how impressive they were in quickly delivering this (crap) product.

post #21 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post
 

Since Kasper's Automated Slave is just regurgitating a press release, I hope someone in the mainstream press will call out Samsung on what is clearly a puff piece crafted to claim superiority in manufacturing. The Gear fiasco points to the huge missing pieces in their operation:  insight/intuition and design (all aspects).

 

Hah...I noticed the same thing just a few seconds after you.

 

Glad I wasn't the only one who thought that was a puff piece.

post #22 of 61
Funny i
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Originally Posted by Zeos View Post

Hey Apple Insider, quit placing Chevrolet ads over the top of your articles. Your readers/customers shouldn't have to maneuver around these ads to read the articles. You already have enough ads on your site. It already takes forever to load due to all of your ads. That is mistreating your customers. That's very low!
don't get any adds at all and I am running iOS 7
post #23 of 61
Quantity over quality is what samsung is full off. The amount of adverts to also goes for the same.
post #24 of 61

It seems to me that being first into a market that Apple enters later is often a less than optimum decision. If I recall correctly, Apple did not make the first laptop or portable computer, Apple did not make the first portable music player, Apple did not make the first smart phone, nor did they make the first tablet. And, they did not make the first smart watch...

post #25 of 61

Beside the technical failings, it still incumbent upon aesthetics, and that's the hard part. People care even if they only wear jeans and a t-shirt, about what they wear. Especially if it costs 300 bucks. Gear is neither causal, nor elegant, I don't know what demographic it is aimed at, or who would feel comfortable wearing that contraption, much less use it.

post #26 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"We put all things together and said let's just go for it,"

This approach explains a lot.
post #27 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I've been saying the same thing as this article since the watch was first mentioned. We could see this strategy with their voice

melgross! Your here! Where have you been? Missed you my friend!
post #28 of 61
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
The device has since been widely panned in reviews, with critics pointing to its high price point, limited functionality, and poor battery life.

 

See what happens when you "scramble to finish" a product in a segment you *think* Apple might be entering?

You end up with Galaxy Gear, Notion Ink Adam, Fusion Garage Joo Joo, HP Windows Slate, etc.

Yeah, I know.  Hard to remember what some of those products were.  It's been almost 4 years. 

Here's a refresher: http://technologizer.com/2011/09/30/ipad-alternatives-3/ 

 

Being first mover is an advantage only if you're entering a commodity market and/or if you have the best product.

Just dumping a mediocre product onto the "smartwatch" market might get a few early adopter sales.

But not the mass market.  And the mass market is where the money is at.

 

I doubt Apple feels any pressure to rush a "smartwatch" to market.  I think Apple is perfectly willing to

let the wannabes make their glaring mistakes in public, take the time to refine and polish "iWatch" 1.0,

ship it with several killer features, build in frameworks for developing future killer features, and make sure

it's not just a wrist-mounted second-screen and remote control for iPhone.

 

The problem with the "wrist-mounted second-screen and remote control for iPhone" concept is that it's boring.

It fixes only one issue: the need to pull your iPhone out of your pocket to use any of its features.

Zero "wow" factor and the novelty of seeing info from your iPhone on your wrist will wear off in 5 minutes.

 

So how could an iWatch make itself stand out from the crowd?  I think it needs to be useful

as a standalone device, like an iPod nano.  And I think it needs a stripped-down version of iOS,

a next-gen version of the M7 chip, multi-day battery life (with possible solar and/or mechanical power "assist").

iOS will be necessary not so much for of its ability to run 3rd party apps, but for Siri.

Apple might follow the Apple TV model for iWatch: just a few select built-in apps, no "iWatch app store."

 

And I think wireless earbuds will be necessary. Ever try jogging on a trail with an iPod nano on a wrist strap

with conventional earbuds?  If you have, you've probably had the earbuds ripped out of your ears when a branch

snagged the cord.  Not fun at all.  Trust me.

 

​All the components seem to be more or less in place.  The low-power always-on M7, BlueTooth low energy, 

and maybe even OLED screen technology, are all ready for Apple to use in some kind of iWatch product.

Here's the Bluetooth SIG's page on Bluetooth low energy in the "Sports & Fitness" market:

http://www.bluetooth.com/Pages/Sports-Fitness-Market.aspx


Edited by SockRolid - 10/2/13 at 11:01am

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post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by tikiman View Post
 

Yeah, and how did that work out for them? They've had crappy reviews on a horrid product.

 

... but they were FIRST!!!

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post #30 of 61
It's a good thing Shamsung went first with this one. At least Apple will have some before and after evidence when they sue they after they U-turn on their designs after Apple shows them how to do it.
post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheUnfetteredMind View Post

I think Shin believes he's the new Jobs. Don't believe the (self-delusional) hype.

The more you lack in confidence, the more desperate you are to be perceived as the "next big thing."

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #32 of 61

Actually, I'm not sure that Samsung can claim that they were first. What about the Pebble? They can claim that the did a "smart" watch (can we even call it that) before Apple did. Of course that's assuming Apple is even doing one and I'm not convinced that they are. The whole watch thing may have never been in Apple's plans at all.

 

Whatever Apple does, you know damn well that Samsung will release something markedly similar in short order.

post #33 of 61
Who the fsck did they survey that said they want a camera on their wrist?
post #34 of 61

Oh surprise, surprise. 

 

Gee, just like them "touting" their gold Same-sungs?  

 

Bottom line, I think Apple strengthened its place as a premium product and not necessarily the bigger screen market, yet.  Personally love the the 5s, also got myself a 5c just to play around with and keep my s nice and clean...

post #35 of 61
Where's the pride in being first to rush a piece of sh** to market. Now Apple will come out with one and make Samsung's look like a toy.
post #36 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Where's the pride in being first to rush a piece of sh** to market. Now Apple will come out with one and make Samsung's look like a toy.

 

No. Apple just said it was going to develop a watch to see what Samsung would do.

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post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post
 

 

No. Apple just said it was going to develop a watch to see what Samsung would do.

 

Thanks for your opinion.

post #38 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

We all know that Apple's modus operendi has been to quietly observe the failings of others, then create their own vision of the product that avoids the pitfalls and exceeds expectations.

Now they may be taking that strategy to a new level. Not enough bad products out there to analyze? Poke the hornets nest with the stick of a rumored iWatch, sit back and watch the fun.

iWatch late next year thanks to Samsung's unwitting participation in Apple's product testing and evaluation program

 

Especially when it turns out that iWatch has nothing to do with wearable technology and is something related to their TV product. 

 

I'd love for this to be the case and watch Apple sitting back and laughing at Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Google, etc spending all of these resources trying to get a wearable device while taking their eye off the TV prize. Although, many have tried to do something "new" in TV after the Jobs biography and nothing really came of it either. Not much has changed in that landscape. 

 

As far as Apple's Interest and hiring of various people related to wearable technology, it may not be for the reasons we and other competitors think.  It could be more about making existing products add ways to make other wearable technology interact better (i.e. motion co-processor) or could be that Apple wants to use this technology for a specific device segment (Medical) or for creation of other devices (remote, game controller, etc) that interact with current products (ATV, iPhone, Ipad, etc). 

post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post
 

Btw, that CNet article absolutely reads like a paid advertorial. It probably isn't as obvious as that, but I bet it's something like "Hey CNet, we will give you exclusive interviews with all our top guys if you write a positive article about the Gear's development". And while even CNet isn't going to stoop as low as to call the turd that is this "smart"watch a decent product, they made it about Samsung, and how impressive they were in quickly delivering this (crap) product.

 

More like "Which one of you hack journalists wants to attend a product launch in Hawaii, flying first class with an unlimited bar tab?"

 

"The 'launch' will take half an hour, you'll be there for three days."

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkman@chartermi.net View Post

Apple should release the rumour of an iToilet into the wild, and see how fast Samsung announces theirs. This goes for Google, Microsoft and Sony as well! SamGooMicroSo should form a consortium and call it Mee2.

 

Already been done.  Already been hacked =)  Lol it plays music for you and can be flushed remotely.  wtf?  Hmmm.  I'm nowhere near it, but I think my toilet needs a good flush right now.  Would be a novelty gag when you have visitors :p

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2013/08/06/smart-toilet-hack/2622723/

 

I'd set mine up like the toilets in 'Portal' so any time you flush them they say 'Thank you for your business.'


Edited by Frood - 10/2/13 at 1:57pm
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