Samsung growing as lifestyle brand

The global mobile industry is undergoing a gradual paradigm shift, with fashion and design emerging as a must for potential success in cutting-edge devices.

The smartphone industry is also in a war of who manufactures fancier looking items. The world’s leading handset makers, Samsung Electronics and Apple, are running their own design facilities. They put almost a similar level of emphasis on design in addition to the technological specifications of their devices.

The global wearable device industry represented by smartwatches also seems to walk the same path. For such mobile players, wearable products have not served as a major cash cow, as they are considered accessories, not daily necessities such as smartphones.

But this is a thing of the past, as more and more people show attention to wearable devices for such purposes as health tracking and fashion.

Data has also proved the growing popularity of wearables. According to the International Data Corporation, the global wearable market is on a stable growth track, with wearable device shipments posting a 10.3 percent year-on-year growth during the April-June period in 2017.

“For years, rudimentary fitness trackers have acted as a gateway to smartwatches and now we are at a point where brands and consumers are graduating to more sophisticated devices,” said Jitesh Ubrani, a senior research analyst for market tracker IDC.

“Previous niche features such as GPS and additional health tracking capabilities are quickly becoming staples of the modern smartwatch. ” GPS refers to the global positioning system.

The market researcher said only a quarter of all the wearable devices came with GPS features last year, but the number jumped to 41.7 percent this year.

In Korea, Samsung Electronics also is catching up with the rapidly-changing wearable trend. With the launch of the firm’s first smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear that debuted in 2013, the outfit has continued to enhance not just its health tracking functions, but design elements.

The Galaxy Gear came with only a few basic features including pedometers. But the flagship smartwatch series has become a state-of-the-art mobile device, as shown in the firm’s latest Gear Sport Fit 2 Pro smartwatch this year.

The company launched the premium device at this year’s IFA tradeshow, calling it a pinnacle of stylish accessories that blends an ergonomic design with robust fitness tracking capabilities.

The device can track records for 17 workouts such as swimming, running, hiking and even “pilates,” according to the company. To meet the specific purpose, the company designed the device with a sleek, fitness-oriented body and high-resolution active-matrix organic light-emitting-diode (AMOLED) curved touch screen.

To cover the various workout purposes, the device was also designed with military-level durability, so that it can operate in a variety of environments.

IDC research manager Ramon Llamas said the global wearable industry will continue to grow with a focus on specific target marketing.

“Smartwatches recorded double-digit year-on-year growth, with much of that increase attributable to a growing number of models aimed at specific market segments, like the fashion-conscious and outdoor enthusiasts in addition to the technophile crowd, lower price points, and a slowly-warming reception from consumers and enterprises users alike,” he said.

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