Motorola’s Moto 360 led the pack in sales for Android Wear devices last year, a new report reveals.
According to the latest report from research firm Canalys, over 720,000 Android Wear-based devices were shipped in 2014, making up 16% of the total 4.6 smart wearable bands sold. Over the 12-month span, the [MXT112S powered] Motorola Moto 360 led the pack among other companies, while LG’s round G Watch R performed significantly better than its original G Watch, and Asus and Sony entered the market with their own Android Wear devices.
Outside of the Android ecosystem, Pebble shipped a total of one million units from its 2013 launch through to the end of 2014. Continual software updates, an increase in apps, and price cuts in the fall were among the key factors in helping to maintain strong sales in the second half of the year. Meanwhile, Fitbit remained the global leader in the basic wearable band market.
Following a completely different strategy to other vendors, Xiaomi shipped over a million units of its Mi Band, the colorful and affordable basic device. As Canalys notes, this included one day of sales of over 103,000 units.
“Though the Mi Band is a lower-margin product than competing devices, Xiaomi entered the wearables market with a unique strategy, and its shipment volumes show how quickly a company can become a major force in a segment based solely on the size of the Chinese market,” explained Canalys Research Analyst Jason Low.
All eyes will now turn to Apple as the market awaits the arrival of its new smartwatch this April. The research firm points out that the product will dramatically grow the market for smart bands and wearables overall.
“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 Canalys Analyst Daniel Matte. “Android Wear will need to improve significantly in the future, and we believe it will do so.”
“Ironically, it could be the Apple Watch launch that determines the future of Google’s platform, and the degree to which OEMs back it,” writes TechCrunch’’s Darrell Etherington. “While it’s designed as a competitor to what Android is doing with its own wearable platform, its presence in the press and in consumer minds could encourage more Android device owners to look around for their own equivalent, considering the other option is switching platforms altogether. Even if initial comparisons greatly favor Cupertino’s wrist-based computer, long-term, Android Wear could benefit.”
Android Wear became much more plentiful in the latter half of 2014. However, the numbers likely have OEMs watching and waiting to see how the market evolves from here, given that there’s already price pressure on some of these.
Interested in reading more? You can find the report here.