In case we weren’t clear enough in our review last year, the Galaxy Gear failed to impress us. It was an underwhelming entry into a market that hasn’t quite found an audience yet, but we might have underestimated the power of Samsung’s marketing team. According to a recent report from Strategy Analytics, Samsung’s original Galaxy Gear smartwatch shipped more units in the first quarter of 2014 than Pebble, Motorola or any other vendor.
VentureBeat reports that of the estimated 700,000 smartwatches shipped in Q1, 500,000 were Samsung units.
Samsung led the pack with a 71% market share as global smartwatch shipments increased 250% year-over-year. Of course, shipments don’t equate to total sales, but the fact that Samsung is has already captured a vast majority of shelf space from retailers is a good sign for the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit.
The inevitable rise of the smartwatch has been reported by analysts more often in recent years as smartphones and tablets fail to impress with diminishing returns. The market didn’t crack 1 million shipments in Q1, but now that Samsung has released a whole new line of smartwatches with increased functionality and an infinitely cleaner UI, the wearable devices might have an even stronger showing in Q2.