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Smartwatches Underwhelm as Wearable Computers

Stocks in this article: AAPL GOOG

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm the sort of late-adopting loser who can't appreciate one ounce of innovation, even if it stares me in the face. Or is strapped to my wrist.

I'm referring to the smartwatch. There's plenty of hype about the Kickstarter-funded Pebble smartwatch, as well as the offerings from behemoth Sony (SNE).

But the category seems to have lost some of its luster in recent months following the speculation over Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) potential iWatch and Samsung's reveal of the Galaxy Gear.

I've checked out the Galaxy Gear.  Honest to goodness, you could not pay me to wear one of those bulky, ugly things, let alone pay $300 for one. If you have similar feelings, fear not -- you are not alone.

I can't wrap my mind around why anyone would want one. From what I've seen, the Galaxy Gear can answer phone calls, check messages and respond to texts. I guess that's pretty cool, but when did the two seconds it takes to check our smartphone become so important that we need a smartwatch? 

Reports claim that Samsung has shipped, but not necessarily sold, 800,000 units since the Gear was released in September. While that's not exactly knocking anyone's socks off, it's more than I thought would have sold.

But wait. many of these devices were bundled with Samsung smartphones like the Galaxy S3. The number of bundled smartwatches was left vague.  In other words, the Gear seems like it could be used more to promote sales of other devices, rather than to survive on its own merits.

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