720,000 Android Wear devices shipped in 2014 – Moto 360 is the clear leader

12 Feb 2015

More than 720,000 Android Wear devices shipped in 2014 out of a total global market of 4.6m wearable smart bands or watches, according to Canalys.

While supply of the Moto 360 was constrained in the fourth quarter, Motorola was the clear leader Among the 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.

Pebble meanwhile shipped a total of 1m  units from its 2013 launch through to the end of 2014. Continual software updates, more apps in its app store and price cuts in the fall helped maintain strong sales in the second half of the year.

“Samsung has launched six devices in just 14 months, on different platforms and still leads the smart band market,” said Canalys VP and Principal Analyst Chris Jones.

“But it has struggled to keep consumers engaged and must work hard to attract developers while it focuses on Tizen for its wearables.”

All eyes on forthcoming Apple Watch

Xiaomi shipped over a million units of its Mi Band, the colourful and affordable basic band. 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,’ said Canalys Research Analyst Jason Low.

Fitbit remained the global leader in the basic wearable band market.

As April nears, all eyes are now on Apple and its forthcoming Apple Watch which will no doubt stir competition in the wearables market.

“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.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years