As they currently stand, smartwatches are a far cry from the kind of devices smartphones have become: essential and always by your side. Research firm Canalys revealed that a mere 720,000 Android Wear devices shipped in 2014, and while this reaffirms the belief that smartwatches are a niche product, the numbers don’t paint as bleak an image as some might believe.
Canalys pointed to Moto 360 as being “the clear leader,” of the pack with the most sales. Meanwhile, the LG G Watch R outperformed its predecessor, the original G Watch, which launched alongside the Samsung Gear Live as the first two Android Wear smartwatches last June. No exact figures were given, though Canalys pointed out that Android Wear devices accounted for 15 percent of the 4.6 million “smart wearable bands” that shipped in 2014.
These aren’t terrible numbers in the least, considering Android Wear launched just last June, but they aren’t too impressive either. Canalys vice president Chris Jones also brought up Samsung’s situation. While the company’s decision to invest in both Android Wear and Tizen allowed it to “lead the smart band market,” the fact that it shipped six devices in a span of just 14 months has Samsung struggling “to keep consumers engaged.”
At this point, Pebble, which recently announced it sold 1 million of its smartwatches since it launched in 2013, is Android Wear’s biggest competition. With that said, 2015 is sure to be an interesting year for the category, as we’ll see Apple’s entrant into the arena, as well as new Pebble and Android Wear devices. Additionally, many manufacturers are rumored to be ditching Android Wear in favor of their own, homegrown wearable operating systems.
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