STOCK Samsung Galaxy Ring
Samsung Electronics on Wednesday announced the new Galaxy Ring, Galaxy Watch7 and Galaxy Watch Ultra1, expanding the power of Galaxy AI2 to more people through wearables. Image Credit: Samsung

Dubai: UAE’s tech enthusiasts may have to wait longer to slip their fingers into Samsung’s newest wearable device, the Galaxy Ring. The South Korean tech giant unveiled the device—a bright ring that uses tiny sensors to monitor various health metrics—at its Galaxy Unpacked event on Wednesday alongside its Z series foldable devices.

Samsung says it is ‘supercharging’ its latest addition to its ecosystem of devices with artificial intelligence (AI). Unfortunately for its fans in the UAE and neighbouring GCC countries, Samsung has not made the Ring available for pre-order, and according to a top Samsung official in the UAE, fans may have to wait for an undefined period.

Fadi Abu Shamat, Senior Director and Head of the Mobile eXperience Division at Samsung Gulf Electronics, told Gulf News the device would be rolled out to the GCC markets sequentially due to its massive global demand and supply chain challenges.

“The Ring is brand new technology and very rare. This is new and uncharted technology and a fast-growing category for us,” said Shamat.

He added, “We are working with the Samsung head office to offer the Ring for our UAE and Gulf customers.” However, there are no ‘solid confirmations’ of a fixed time for when the Galaxy Ring will be made available in the UAE, said Shamat. “As soon as it goes to marker, you will be the first to know,” Shamat told this reporter.

A first for the tech giant, the Ring will be available from July 24 in the US, UK, Germany, and France, among other markets. It was available to pre-order on July 10. Along with the GalaxY Z series smartphones, Samsung Electronics also unveiled the new Galaxy Ring, Galaxy Watch7 and Galaxy Watch Ultra1.

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Building on the success of Galaxy AI introduced earlier this year, Samsung is now opening the next chapter of mobile AI with its latest devices. The company hosted a pop up event at the Mall of the Emirates on July 11, following the Unpacked event on Wednesday. Image Credit: Samsung

What’s causing the delays?

Shamat said, “Our research and development and engineering teams have worked on it for a long time. Given the ‘uncharted’ terrain of the technology, some supply chain challenges exist for new materials being used to manufacture the Ring.”

Priced at $399 (approx. Dh1,465), the Galaxy Ring weighs approximately 2.3 to 3 grams, depending on the size one purchases. Made from grade 5 titanium alloy, the Ring comes in black, silver and gold hues. According to GSM Arena, all health tracking sensors, batteries, and charging pins are on the inside, hidden under a layer of epoxy resin.

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The South Korean tech giant aims to integrate its smartphones and wearables with health-tracking features, challenging Apple's market push. Image Credit: Samsung

Shamat said the device can track sleep, menstrual cycle, heart rate, and exercise (it can also track what type of exercise a wearer is performing). Its battery life is 14 days.

Samsung is not the only company to sell such devices. CNBC reported that Oura, one of the market pioneers, has sold 2.5 million units of its products over the last nine years, citing CCS Insight. The report also quoted an analyst who said that the product category is a “niche segment” and that around 4 million rings are expected to be shipped in 2025.

Pre-orders for Z series

Aside from the non-availability of the Ring, Shamat said pre-orders for the Z series smartphones (Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6) are 25 per cent higher than the last iteration of the devices. “We opened pre-orders as soon as the Unpacked event closed. The device is enjoying staggering success regarding pre-order rates,” he said. “Our S series phones (S24, S23, and previous iterations) are our benchmark devices. However, the Z series is almost neck-to-neck with the S model phones,” he added.

However, the Z series smartphones are priced higher than the S series smartphones. In the UAE, the Galaxy Z Fold6 is Dh7,199, and the Galaxy Z Flip6 is Dh4,299.

AI should not be exclusive and restricted to certain users. It should be available to everyone, said Shamat. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

When asked if Samsung would consider selling the smartphone at affordable rates, Shamat said the company has rolled out several offerings for ‘financial consideration’. “Our pre-order offer allows customers to trade in their old devices and get a further Dh500 off. We have also rolled out multiple buy now pay later (BNPL) offers,” he added.

In January this year, Samsung released its landmark Galaxy AI platform (powered further with the full integration of Google’s Gemini app, the Alphabet-owned company’s generative AI platform previously known as Bard).

Since then, Shamat said the platform has also integrated Arabic and Hindi languages into its live translation feature (including speech-to-text) for UAE and GCC consumers.