Palo Alto – Android Wear smart watches accounted for only 720,000 of only 4.6 million smart wearable bands shipped globally in 2014, and it will take the April launch of the Apple Watch to “dramatically grow the market for smart bands and wearables overall,” Canalys concluded.
“Apple made the right decisions with its WatchKit software development kit to maximize battery life for the platform, and the Apple Watch will offer leading energy efficiency,” said analyst Daniel Matte. Android Wear will need to improve significantly in the future, and we believe it will do so.”
Among Android Wear vendors, Motorola was the “clear leader” in sales with its Moto 360, though it remained supply-constrained through the fourth quarter, Canalys said. LG’s round G Watch R performed significantly better than its original G Watch, the company added.
Other Android Wear vendors include Asus, Samsung and Sony.
“Samsung has launched six devices in just 14 months on different platforms and still leads the smart band market, but it has struggled to keep consumers engaged and must work hard to attract developers while it focuses on Tizen for its wearables,” added Canalys VP Chris Jones.
Outside the Android Wear OS, Pebble shipped 1 million smart bands from its 2013 launch through to the end of 2014. “Continual software updates, more apps in its app store and price cuts in the fall helped maintain strong sales in the second half of the year,” Canalys said.
Fitbit remained the global leader in the basic wearable band market, Canalys said.
Canalys defines basic wearable bands as devices serving a specific set of purposes, act as an accessory to smart devices, are worn on the body, and can’t run third-party computing applications. Smart wearable bands are defined as multi-purpose devices that serve as smart-device accessories, are worn, and run third-party computing applications. Bands are wearables that wrap around the body and do not include clip-on activity trackers.