New statistics from research company Canalys claims that 2014 wasn’t a very successful year for smart watches as many people had hoped. There were of course some some exciting new wearables from a raft of manufacturers using Android Wear, but it appears that not many people were persuaded to purchase a smart watch last year.
Android Wear uptake slow, Moto 360 leads
The report states that “Only 720,000 Android Wear devices were shipped in 2014 out of a total of 4.6 million smart wearable bands”, although the clue here is that the word shipped (not sold) was used.
It’s not yet clear how many devices were in fact sold, but as far as the millions of activity trackers and fitness bands shipped, Android Wear is but a small fraction of the total. It’s still a new platform however, but the data isn’t very encouraging for the Android-based smart watch market.
The Motorola Moto 360 was the clear winner in smart watches, says Canalys:
“Though the Moto 360 remained supply constrained through Q4, Motorola was the clear leader among Android Wear vendors. LG’s round G Watch R performed significantly better than its original G Watch, while Asus and Sony entered the market with their own Android Wear devices.”
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Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi managed to shift more than a million of its cheap Mi Band since it went on sale in July last year.
Android Wear is still in its early days, and there has been some great new devices and developments coming from Google in recent months. However, there is still a lot to be done in terms of hardware and battery life in particular, which needs to improve if more people are going to consider buying the devices.
In April this year, Apple will join the smart watch market, which many people believe will help to kickstart the smart watch revolution. There’s already been a lot of interest, and Apple has been working around the clock to show its device is not only a smartphone companion but a designer fashion accessory too.
Analysts currently peg the Apple Watch’s first year sales at anywhere from 10 million to 25 million units, however Apple has already said that it won’t be breaking down sales figures – instead lumping them with other products such as the Apple TV. One thing is for certain – the smart watch industry is just getting started, and it will be exciting to see what new products will be revealed in the months and years ahead.