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Samsung Exec: Smartwatch "Lacks Something Special"

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - In what can only be termed as a suicidal quote to the press, a Samsung executive said the soon-to-be-released Galaxy Gear smartwatch "lacks something special".

According to a report in the Korea Times an unnamed Samsung official said, "We've acknowledged that our Gear lacks something special. With most investment for user interface and user experience Samsung devices will be better in terms of customer satisfaction."

Galaxy Gear is Samsung's recently announced entry into the emerging smartwatch device category. The watch runs on Google's (GOOG) Android operating system - and mirrors a number of smartphone functions in a device designed to be worn on your wrist. The Gear will communicate via Bluetooth with Samsung's new Galaxy Note 3 tablet/phone and nearby Wi-fi networks. Syncing with other Samsung Galaxy smartphones will be announced in the coming weeks.

Lee Don-joo, Samsung's executive vice president for mobile device marketing has a different take on his company's new product. He said the device is "a wow product" and is "definitely receiving warm response."

Samsung and several others are betting on the future of smartwatches. Sony (SNE) is selling its appropriately named, second-generation "SmartWatch 2," which sells in the $200 range. Rumors continue to abound concerning a possible "iWatch" from Apple (AAPL).

At the beginning, Galaxy Gear watches will be sold only by cellular phone providers in the United States, with a suggested retail price will be $299.

Samsung is also reportedly working on a next-generation Galaxy Gear which could sport a lower price tag.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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