New data from Canalys suggests 2014 wasn’t the breakout year for smartwatches like many people expected. There were a handful of exciting new wearables coming out of the Android Wear camp in particular, but it seems that not very many consumers are interested in what Google’s platform has to offer. However, that could easily change in the coming months.
“Only 720,000 Android Wear devices were shipped in 2014 out of a total of 4.6 million smart wearable bands,” Canalys said. Shipped being the key word.
It’s unclear how many of these devices were actually sold. But out of the millions of activity trackers and other wearables that were shipped in 2014, Android Wear only makes up a fraction of the pie. It’s not very encouraging, but I suppose it is to be expected for a burgeoning platform.
“Though the Moto 360 remained supply constrained through Q4, Motorola was the clear leader among Android Wear vendors,” Canalys said. “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.” Xiaomi’s cheap-o Mi Band was the most popular in terms of sheer volume, selling over a million units since it went on sale in July of last year.
Android Wear is still a young platform, and we’ve seen some terrific potential out of Google’s camp over the last few months. But there’s still a lot of room for improvement, and the hardware needs to get better in order for people to get onboard the smartwatch hype train.
In April, Apple will throw its hat into the wearable market with the Apple Watch, which many people believe will put smartwatches on the map. There’s certainly a lot of interest, and Apple has been working hard to show off its device as not only a smart companion for your iPhone, but a beautiful accessory for the fashion-conscious. Whether Apple can surpass the 720,000 Android Wear devices shipped remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: the smartwatch market is still for the taking, and that’s very exciting.