Samsung's Galaxy Gear shipments: Watch the sell through

Samsung has impressively filled its retail channel with Galaxy Gear smartwatches. Sell through to consumers will ultimately tell the tale though.

Samsung has reportedly shipped 800,000 Galaxy Gear smartwatches to retailers in the last two months.

According to Reuters, Samsung has moved a bunch of Galaxy Gear watches. Here's the catch: All that gaudy figure proves is that Samsung can fill the channel. What remains to be seen is whether consumers will buy these smartwatches.

Samsung noted that the reception to Gear has been better than expected. Indeed, Gear was largely viewed as an experiment. The biggest issue with Gear is that it relies on your smartphone. Samsung just widened the audience by allowing Gear to work with its Galaxy S4 smartphone.

With promotional activity among retailers for the holidays, Gear may get a big push. At a $300-ish price, however, Gear may be too limited.

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We'll know how the Gear channel fill played out in the first quarter when Samsung reports its next results.

Bottom line: Don't get carried away with the Gear shipments yet. Until you start running into folks in crowds with Galaxy Gear smartwatches take sell-through expectations with a big grain of salt.

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