Samsung, possibly spurred by a report yesterday that the company sold only 50,000 Galaxy Gears, has announced that it shipped 800,000 smart watches to retailers.
The original report from Reuters quoted Samsung as saying that the Gear is "the most sold wearable watch available in the market place," and the story mentioned the 800,000 "sales" number. But a later clarification to The Verge stated that the number was actually for shipments to stores. The real question is what happens after the Gear is shipped to stores, which Samsung has not addressed..
The retail reports that we have seen do not paint a very rosy picture. A leaked Best Buy memo stated that the Galaxy Gear had an "above 30 percent" return rate. The situation was so bad that Best Buy was openly asking employees for ideas on why the return rate was so high. In the UK, retailer Phones 4u was giving the Gear away with the purchase of the on-contract Note 3.
The Galaxy Gear is backed by a lot of marketing muscle and a fantastic TV ad, and updates have been slowly improving its functionality. But after spending some time with it, we have a hard time believing the public could be happy with a product as limited as the Gear. While Samsung has shipped a lot of watches, steep discounts and high return rates seem to indicate that these devices are mostly piling up in warehouses.