Canalys has reported that shipments of smart wearable devices have soared by 640% in the last year, in part thanks to our new obsession with this new category of devices.
The report, which shows that Fitbit and Jawbone are clearly leading the pack in the health and lifestyle category, states that Samsung has become the worldwide leader in the smart wearable band market in the first half of 2014 with the release of the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit helping them to cement their position.
The report also notes that Samsung released its fifth smart wearable in less than a year – the Android Wear based Gear Live. The report went on to say that “Samsung must improve device sell-through otherwise it will again have to resort to heavy discounting through promotions to move inventory.”
Pebble has remained relevant in the wearable space with the Pebble steel helping Pebble to keep its momentum, with its app store continuing to grow, while Sony with its own smartwatches (such as the smartwatch 2) rounding out the top three.
Canalys stated that Android Wear shipments will appear in their Q3 shipment tracking report with LG’s G Watch and Samsung’s Gear Live helping kick off the platform for consumers and Google. Canalys has noted that the Motorola’s Moto 360 and other Android Wear smart watches are still yet to come through and that these smart wearables have utilised off-the-shelf smart phone components to get to market sooner.
Canalys Analyst Daniel Matte stated that ‘Mobile operating systems and apps must be extensively pared back for smart wearable bands,’ and that ‘Android Wear represents an initial first step by Google. It will undoubtedly continue to refine and improve the Wear platform as it has done with Android.’
So its not all bad news for Android Wear from Canalys’ view and it’s undoubtedly still early days for this new ecosystem.
Matte did note that ‘Smart wearable bands need tremendous advances across the entire component ecosystem to achieve multiple days of battery life. Smart wearable bands should not necessarily resemble watches, but should instead adhere to their own unique design constraints,’
With IFA just under a week away – and a rumoured launch of a new Sony SmartWatch 3, Asus Android Wear device, as well as a new round LG G Watch R, as well as the expected launch of the Moto 360 – we’re sure that the next Canalys shipment tracking report will show growth for Android wear hardware shipments.