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THE RISE OF THE SMARTWATCH

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Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Smartwatch is going to be this holiday seasons Most successful tech product. The iPad Air and new plastic iPhones won’t stand a chance. Apple’s latest versions of the IPAD and iPhone may sell more numerically, as a result of marketshare but this season’s envy inducing- must have tech toy, will be the Galaxy Gear. Samsung’s Galaxy watch was panned by most critics, who charged that it was useless, unforgivably ugly and sure to turn off female consumers. They jeered that no one would want to take awkward and grainy pictures with a camera, oddly positioned on their wrists. They seem baffled by the notion that anyone would want to take calls on an low volume speakerphone, also positioned oddly on their wrists.

Its worth noting that many of these tech geniuses panned the first iPad as a useless toy. The critics are all too fond of using the term D.O.A- dead on arrival when new products are introduced to the market. How do we know that they are wrong? Ask any normal consumer who has purchased the device. They love their new Samsung Watches! There is a chasm of taste between the tech critics and the consumers they pretend to write for. Much like the world of film and food critics, a superficial snobbery has infected the ranks of tech writers. They seem to turn their noses up at products that most of us would take great pleasure in utilizing, as if their propensity for being persnickety will be interpreted as discerning taste. The Samsung Galaxy watch is the unfortunate recipient of unwarranted slings and arrows and much like the iPad it will thrive when the critics declared its demise.

With this in mind, it occurs to the tech staff at Worthy Magazine, that Samsung’s daring watch won’t be experienced by the majority of consumers. Most of the writers in our office use iPhones and Apple is dragging it’s feet in the wearables race. The Galaxy watch must be used with one of Samsung’s flagship phones. If you don’t have a Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 2, S3 or S4 then you will have to miss out on the smart watch craze (using the Galaxy Gear). However, an admittedly terse consideration of the tech behind the Galaxy Gear leaves our office full of iphone users with an idea. The Galaxy Gear uses Bluetooth tech to act as a relay for data that is coming from the handset of your phone. Without a phone the watch is rendered impotent. The major processing takes place on the “phone” side and not within the watch itself. The watch is effectively just a portal for a limited range of data. This leaves us wondering why we need Apple or even Samsung to do this. A third party vendor could just as easily “Bluetooth” out this limited range of data. Just as third party vendors make headsets or earpieces, they could begin making “smart watches”. There is of course an issue of apps for the phones as most phonemakers are trending towards closed ecosystems. A level of cooperation with phone makers like apple may be required to avoid making issues of coding even more problematic but if Apple isn’t interested in making a smart watch or other smartphone vendors aren’t well positioned to break into this emerging market, a third party vendor could make a compelling device.

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Our conclusion is simple. If Apple won’t then perhaps someone else will. This strategy doesn’t have to be limited to iPhones either. It should be even easier for would be third party smart watch makers to apply this strategy to the myriad of Android phones irrespective of their carriers.

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