Best Buy documents leaked to Geek.com show Gear support slated for Galaxy S4, Note 2, S3 and S4 Active by end of year — but return rate could be higher than 30 percent
It's fair to say the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch has had a mixed reception, with early reviews, including our own, complaining of poor support for non-Samsung apps and the fact that the Galaxy Note 3 was the only phone supported at launch. Today newly-leaked documents from a major retailer show that Samsung appears ready to bring Galaxy Gear support to other U.S. handsets before the of the year, while also revealing a potentially troubling return rate for the wearable gadget.
The internal Best Buy documents obtained by Geek.com show that like their international counterparts, U.S. Samsung phones will get Galaxy Gear support with their Android 4.3 updates. They also show tentative launch dates for the Gear-enabling updates on the Galaxy Note 2, S3, S4 and S4 Active across all major carriers. The documents underscore the fact that these dates are subject to change, so don't consider them set in stone just yet. But as it stands, it looks like Samsung wants these devices up-to-date with Android 4.3 and Galaxy Gear support by the year's end, in line with its earlier statements.
Perhaps more intriguing, the leaked material also states:
The Galaxy Gear attachment rate within Best Buy is the highest among all channels; however the overall return rate is trending above 30%
That means Best Buy is selling a lot of Galaxy Gears to Note 3 customers, but almost a third of them are returning the smartwatch. In today's report, Geek.com says Best Buy "have asked that Samsung employees on site help try to figure out why this is." Samsung has yet to release any Galaxy Gear sales figures, but if accurate, a 30 percent return rate at a big-name retailer is far from ideal.
Elsewhere, Samsung began rolling out the international Galaxy S4's Android 4.3 update in the past week, which includes Galaxy Gear connectivity. The international Galaxy S3, S4, Note 2, S4 Mini, S4 Active, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3, and S4 Zoom are also set to receive updates with Gear support, with some devices' updates slated for the end of October.