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Samsung's $400 Ring, $650 Watch Ultra Target Apple

Samsung Unveils $400 Galaxy Ring and $650 Galaxy Watch Ultra to Compete with Apple

By Bill Bullington

7/10, 09:20 EDT
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Key Takeaway

  • Samsung launches the $400 Galaxy Ring and $650 Galaxy Watch Ultra, targeting fitness and health monitoring with advanced sensors.
  • The Galaxy Ring offers a week-long battery life and no subscription fees, while the Watch Ultra features sleep apnea detection and dual GPS.
  • These products aim to enhance Samsung's ecosystem, integrating seamlessly with other devices to drive sales and improve user experience.

Samsung Unveils Galaxy Ring

Samsung Electronics Co. has introduced its first smart ring, the Galaxy Ring, at its Unpacked event in Paris. Priced at $400, the Galaxy Ring is designed to monitor fitness and sleep, featuring sensors for skin temperature and menstrual cycle tracking. The device boasts a battery life of up to a week on a single charge. The Galaxy Ring is available in nine sizes, and Samsung will provide fitting kits to ensure users find the right size. Unlike some competitors, the Galaxy Ring does not require a subscription, which could appeal to consumers looking for a one-time purchase.

"Smart rings have been a niche market; we’re expecting less than two million units to ship this year. That compares to the much larger smartwatch market of 163 million units," said Bryan Ma, vice president at IDC. He added, "Samsung has the potential to change the market size given its tremendous distribution footprint and marketing reach."

The Galaxy Ring aims to integrate seamlessly with Samsung's ecosystem, enhancing the user experience when paired with other Samsung devices like smartphones and smartwatches. This integration could drive sales of Samsung's other products by offering a comprehensive health monitoring solution.

New Galaxy Watch Ultra

Samsung also unveiled the Galaxy Watch Ultra, a high-end wearable priced at $650. Made of titanium, the Galaxy Watch Ultra features sleep apnea detection, a two-day battery life, and improved sensors for heart rate monitoring. The device includes dual GPS bands for better tracking in congested areas and a faster processor. The Galaxy Watch Ultra is designed to compete with Apple's $799 flagship Apple Watch Ultra, offering similar features such as a night mode interface, an emergency siren, and a Quick Button for launching workouts.

The Galaxy Watch Ultra is part of Samsung's strategy to expand its presence in the premium segment of health gadgets. The company also introduced the Galaxy Watch 7, which includes new AI features like an energy score that predicts a person's readiness for the day based on sleep and activity levels.

Expanding Product Ecosystem

Samsung's latest product launches, including the Galaxy Ring and Galaxy Watch Ultra, are part of a broader strategy to create an interconnected ecosystem of devices. The company also announced new foldable phones, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6, which feature minor hardware upgrades and new AI-powered software features. These devices are designed to work seamlessly with Samsung's other products, enhancing the overall user experience.

"Indeed, the watch and the ring are part of expanding the ecosystem, which will become increasingly important as AI technology is laid on top of the data collected from different devices," said Francisco Jeronimo, vice president for devices research for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at IDC. "The more devices a user has from the same brand, the more comprehensive the data collected, enhancing the effectiveness of AI digital assistants."

Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, noted, "It is little surprise that Samsung is doubling-down on linking its products with an 'ecosystem story.' Apple has shown that driving interdependence between products is an extremely effective way of locking consumers into a specific brand."

Street Views

  • Bryan Ma, IDC (Cautiously Optimistic on Samsung's wearables market potential):

    "Smart rings have been a niche market; we’re expecting less than two million units to ship this year. That compares to the much larger smartwatch market of 163 million units... Samsung has the potential to change the market size given its tremendous distribution footprint and marketing reach."