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Galaxy Gear is a prime example of Samsung's hardware profundity

Matt Hamblen | Oct. 30, 2013
At Samsung Devcon in San Francisco, the new smartwatch is being worn and used; a video chat app seems inevitable

But don't tell that to Samsung developers who arrived at the first ever Samsung Developer Conference to learn how they can profit by creating Android apps specifically for Samsung devices, including the Gear.

Some analysts believe Samsung created the Galaxy Gear to showcase its ability to produce a steady stream of new devices. There are several Galaxy tablets now on the market with screen sizes from 7 inches to 10.1 inches, a line of Galaxy Note smartphones and a Galaxy S smartphone line that now includes the new Galaxy S4.

Samsung can produce multiple devices so fast because of its size, global marketing reach and ability to build its own components, including processors.

Officials at Rabbit, a video chat provider that works with Samsung mobile products, noted that the Galaxy Gear smartwatch has a camera and that Samsung has just announced a multi-display Software Developers Kit (SDK) that allows video streaming from a small mobile device to a smart TV and other hardware platforms.

"Samsung is re-engineering its hardware for multiple displays," said Rabbit founder and president Nicholas Reichenbach in an interview. "Samsung is cranking out crazy amounts of hardware and has lots of distribution partners. They are using their scope in manufacturing to pop out six variances of a device and see which ones do better."

A Rabbit video chat app for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch is inevitable, he said, without offering any timeline. "The next logical step for our partnership with Samsung would include support [for] all their devices," he said. "Video chatting on a Galaxy Gear smartwatch is so StarTrek that we need to 'make it so.'"

Even if the Galaxy Gear smartwatch or another device doesn't do well in the market in the short term, Samsung is likely to stick with the concept, partly just because it can. If Apple were to offer an iWatch, and it didn't sell well, investors and other people would quickly take note, Reichenbach said.

"If a product from Samsung doesn't do well, they have so many products that people wouldn't even know about it," he said.

Sasaka smiled when it was suggested in an interview that Samsung has a "scorched-Earth policy" for making a multitude of mobile products to sell and essentially covering the globe in a given year.

"Earth is a big planet and different geographies need different price points and have different needs" in mobile products, Sasaka said. "Fortunately, Samsung is big enough to do it this way."


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