China’s Electronic Counterfeiters Not Yet Showing Interest in Wearable Computers

23 Jan

If the number of counterfeiters attracted is any indication of an emerging product’s success, then wearable computing companies might want to watch out. As noted in a recent article from CNN, wearable gadgets such as Google Glass and Samsung’s Galaxy Gear are not only failing to generate enough hype in China, they’re also being overlooked by the country’s biggest counterfeit manufacturers.

“One might argue, if there is one thing worse than being copied, that is to be ignored,” CNN reporter, Johan Nylander, noted. “And that seems to be the case with Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear smart watch — one of the first wearable devices to be made commercially available and as such an indicator for the emerging category.”

According to the reporter, virtually all of the shops in Shengzhen’s Huaqiangbei district that carried low-priced “copies” of Apple, HTC, and Samsung smartphones offered no counterfeit equivalents for smart watches. Some of these stores, interestingly enough, even stopped selling the actual Galaxy Gear device due to its expensive price tag ($300) and underwhelming demand.

“We don’t sell it anymore [as it] was not popular,”one of the region’s store personnel told CNN.

Alf Rehn, a renowned industry watcher and management professor at Finland’s Abo Akademi University, perceives the snubbing of the Galaxy smartwatch by counterfeiters to be a major “warning signal” that should not be taken lightly.

“Piracy is all about benefiting from buzz — create something good enough that looks like the real deal, and make money off those who are not willing or able to pay for the authentic item but who still want to be ‘with it,'” Rehn said.

“Without the buzz, there’s no need for the counterfeit, and it seems like Samsung’s smart watch hasn’t quite gotten the buzz going.”