After releasing mid-year in 2014, Google’s Android Wear is off to a slow start according to market research and analysis firm Canalys.com.
In a new report released today, the company advised that of the 4.6 million smart wearable bands sold in 2014, only 720,000 of those were Android Wear devices, with the rest of the sales being divided by Xiaomi with their Mi Band, and Pebble who each shipped a million devices each, though they advised that ‘Fitbit remained the global leader in the basic wearable band market’. –
Android Wear device shipments were apparently led by Motorola, even with stock shortages, while LG and the G Watch R followed closely, selling more of their second Android Wear watch than the original G Watch. Asus and Sony apparently barely made a dent, only entering the market late in the last quarter. Samsung, who has released six devices in 14 months, ‘still leads the smart band market’ according to Canalys VP and Principal Analyst Chris Jones.
Canalys Analyst Daniel Matte offered the following with regards to Android Wear’s future, ‘Android Wear will need to improve significantly in the future, and we believe it will do so’. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he advised “Android Wear is not very good,” pointing to ‘poor battery life of the devices as one big reason they haven’t taken off’ advising that ‘Google should have further streamlined its mobile operating system so the watches could last longer than about a day between charges’.
The Android Wear numbers line up with the Android Wear app in Google Play, which shows installs of between 500,000 – 1,000,000.
With second generation Android Wear devices expected to launch this year, and Google’s well known fast iteration speed on their software, these concerns could be addressed quite quickly.