When the Galaxy Gear smart watch launches in early October, only one smartphone will be able to interface with it: the Galaxy Note 3. Even the Galaxy S4, the company’s flagship smartphone, won’t be able to speak to the wrist piece due to it lacking a Bluetooth LE stack only available in Android 4.3.
The company has decided to update its most recent devices to Android 4.3 in one fell swoop, bringing the Note II, Galaxy S3 and S4 to the same software level in a similar time frame, across all Canadian carriers. Being quite the ambitious goal, the company has been working with Google and the carriers to ensure a smooth rollout, and will pull the trigger sometime in Q4, likely in the November timeframe.
Samsung announced during its most recent Unpacked conference, at which it unveiled the Note 3, Galaxy Gear and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, that it would bring Android 4.3 to its older suite of devices sometime in Q4. International devices may see the update sooner — mid- to late October, we’re hearing — but Canadians will have to wait a bit longer. We received confirmation from Samsung Canada’s Vice President Enterprise Business Division, Paul Brannan, during a presentation at the Canadian Wireless Trade Show. It’s in Samsung’s best interests to offer the Premium Suite, as they call it, as soon as possible, since at launch only a handful of users will be able to interact with perhaps its most exciting product this year.
In order to entice customers to buy the Galaxy Gear, Samsung is offering a $100 discount when purchased with a Note 3 over the first weekend it is on sale. The move is unlikely to satiate the thousands of users on older hardware looking to buy a Gear, but Samsung is promising to address their needs soon enough.