Many signs point to Samsung and Apple planning to enter the smart ring market and compete in this unexplored segment. Smart rings will supposedly offer health and fitness tracking capabilities similar to smartwatches, which could introduce the Samsung Health and Apple Health platforms to many more users.
As we said before, the so-called Galaxy Ring could be a great option for users who want to record health and fitness data but don't want to give up on their classic timepieces or wear a smartwatch. For this reason, smart rings are unlikely to cannibalize smartwatch sales and are more likely to find a new demographic.
But what about coexisting? It may seem obvious why someone would prefer wearing a smartwatch instead of a smart ring or the other way around, but what about using both devices simultaneously?
Samsung promotes the idea of one device type enhancing another in a “holistic” manner. A tablet isn't a phone or TV replacement. A pair of wireless earbuds can't replace your smartwatch, and so on. They complement each other in a well-knit device ecosystem, and the more Galaxy device types you own, the more complete your Samsung experience becomes. And, yes, even though you could say that the Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra might fill the shoes of a laptop replacement, there still is some crossover between it and the Galaxy Book 3 series through features such as Multi Control.
In contrast, smartwatches and smart rings seem to create a distinct “either-or” situation, wherein you might not want to wear both because they ultimately fulfill similar purposes. And this situation might not sit well with Samsung or Apple, as it seems to go against their ecosystem philosophies. So the question then is whether there will be any reasons for smartwatch users to wear a smart ring along with their wrist devices. And we believe there may be.
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Unprecedented health and fitness tracking
Although it's unclear what the Galaxy Ring and Apple Ring will offer in terms of design and capabilities, we believe that the best reason for smart rings and smartwatches to coexist might be enhanced health and fitness tracking.
It's better to have two ways of collecting data points than one. Combining the capabilities of smart rings and smartwatches could elevate fitness tracking to new levels. Wearing a watch and smart ring at the same time could eliminate errors in health and fitness tracking and offer (near) perfect automatic exercise and activity detection. With one array of sensors on your wrist and another on your finger, Samsung and Apple could have enough data to create near-magical experiences if they apply the right algorithms and AI.
With that being said, it is possible that we'll end up in a situation where a smartwatch or a smart ring alone will never be as capable of accurate fitness and health tracking as they could be if they worked together. One device could enhance the other, and fitness enthusiasts might want to use both rather than having to pick one.
Rumors have it that Samsung may unveil the Galaxy Ring at the next Unpacked event in early 2024. And if our assumptions are correct, Galaxy Watch 6 users deep into fitness and health monitoring will probably want to buy a ring and keep using their new smartwatches.