Fitbit maintained its leadership position in the list of wearable bands shipped worldwide in Q1 2014with nearly 50% market share. Pebble took the lead in the smart band segment as Samsung's share dropped to 23%, according to Canalys.
Canalys has published country level quarterly estimates that show a total of 2.7 million wearable bands shipped worldwide in Q1 2014.
Canalys segments this market into two categories: basic and smart bands. Fitbit continued to ship most of the units in the basic band segment, despite the allergy-related recall of the Fitbit Force.
Jawbone, another basic band competitor, also grew rapidly as it expanded its international distribution after the initial launch of the UP24 in Q4. Nike's share of basic band shipments, however, dropped to 10%.
Though Nike has been reported to be canceling future FuelBand products, the company's focus is now on making use of its fitness software and Nike+ community of over 30 million users to promote its thousands of apparel products. Canalys expects its software to extend to Apple's upcoming smart band, which will likely be announced in the second half of this year.
"Pebble Technology launched the Pebble Steel and the Pebble appstore and grew at a healthy rate during Q1, managing to achieve smart band market leadership for the quarter with a 35% share of worldwide shipments, ahead of both Sony and Samsung" said Chris Jones, VP and Principal Analyst. "Canalys' quarterly estimates showed that total smart band shipments fell short of half a million units. This is largely because Samsung's shipments were down dramatically quarter on quarter as it had strong sell-in for Q4 and then cleared inventory in preparation for its Gear product refresh in early Q2. The company must make some big steps to improve sell-through and customer satisfaction with its new products."
"More sophisticated sensor technology designed specifically for wearables will be arriving soon." New devices running Android Wear will launch this summer from LG and other vendors, such as Motorola, which is now poised to re-enter the smart band market after exiting it two years ago.