Samsung today announced that the Gear S2, Gear S3, Gear Fit2 and some other wearables are now iOS compatible, a move that may not only lead to a spurt in sales of these wearables but which is beneficial for the smartwatch industry as a whole. Samsung has made the Gear S App and the Gear Fit app available on the Apple App Store for buyers to download and use on their iPhones.
At a time when the likes of LG and Lenovo have temporarily stopped making smartwatches and worldwide sales of the wearables are hitting historic lows, Samsung's decision will ensure that millions of iOS users across the globe will be able to go for it's premium smartwatches as an alternative to Apple's Apple Watch and Apple Watch Series 2 wearables.
Samsung Gear S3 costs £349 and is out of stock on pre-order day
Back in October, research firm IDC claimed that thanks to the delayed launch of Apple Watch Series 2, the total number of smartwatches sold in the third quarter was less than half compared to the number of smartwatches sold worldwide in Q3 of 2015. While total sales crossed 5.6 million units in Q3 of 2015, watch makers could sell only 2.7 million smartwatches in the third quarter of 2016. Due to the delayed launch of Apple Watch Series 2, sales of Apple watches went down from 3.9 million to 1.1 million in a year.
However, during this period, sales of Samsung's smartwatches grew by 9% to around 400,000 units and its market share rose from 6.4% in Q3 of 2015 to 14.4% in Q3 of 2016. If its wearables were compatible with Apple's iOS then, Samsung's wearable sales could have shot through the roof thanks to delayed launch of the Apple Watch Series 2. It seems Samsung has realised this and has introduced iOS compatibility for its premium wearables.
“We’re constantly looking for ways to enhance our offerings and we do this in part by listening to what our customers want – and that includes greater access to our cutting-edge wearable technologies with iOS support. By offering Android and iOS compatibility with our latest Gear devices, we’re giving users more ways to optimise their wearable experiences and connect to Samsung’s Galaxy of possibilities,” said Younghee Lee, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing, Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics.
Smartwatch sales hit by Apple Watch release delays
Thanks to iOS compatibility, Samsung's existing and future wearables will be able to compete with the Apple Watch on an equal footing, thus breaking up Apple's dominance in the wearables market. If Apple decides to wait for over a year to launch it's next wearable like it did with the Apple Watch Series 2, then impatient customers may want to try out Samsung's wearables to see if they're just as good. The Gear S3 is among the best-selling smartwatches around, so winning over iOS fans wouldn't be too daunting. It'll be interesting to see if Apple will take the bait.
Back in June of last year, Samsung launched its Gear Fit2 fitness wearable in select regions which included the US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Australia but not the UK. The Gear Fit2 along with the Gear Icon X were subsequently made available in the UK. The Gear S3, Samsung's latest smartwatch, released in the UK on November 18 and arrived with new features and modifications not only to offer customers a more advanced alternative to the Gear S2 smartwatch, but also to compete with other equally competent smartwatches launched this year. The Gear S3 was made available in two variants- the Gear S3 frontier and the Gear S3 classic, both of which cost the same and were suited to different needs.