Android Wear sales: Bad compared to phones, OK compared to other watches

Android logoSo far, we haven't had much information about how Android Wear is doing, but the analysts over at Canalys say that more than 720,000 Wear watches shipped in 2014. LG's first G Watch and Samsung's Gear Live were available at the end of June, so these numbers mean that all six extant Android Wear watches shipped around three-quarters of a million units in six months (and remember, a unit shipped isn't necessarily a unit sold).

These numbers are decidedly unimpressive when considered next to smartphone sales numbers—Apple by itself sold almost 114 million iPhones in the same amount of time—but by smartwatch standards, the Wear ecosystem is collectively doing OK. Pebble recently announced that it had shipped (that word again) its millionth smartwatch on December 31 of 2014, and about 600,000 of those shipments were made between March and December of 2014.

Android Wear sales: Bad compared to phones

The entirety of the "smart wearable band" market as defined by Canalys shipped about 4.6 million units in 2014, and that includes less-smart wearable bands like the Fitbit and Xiaomi's Mi Band, as well as the nigh-countless iterations of Samsung's Tizen-powered Galaxy Gear watch. In other words, Android Wear hasn't exactly kickstarted this market, but it's OK because nobody else has either.

Of the Android Wear watches, Canalys reports that the Moto 360 is "the clear leader," which is further evidence that fashion will drive smartwatch sales just as much as (if not more than) functionality and technology will. Primarily because of its old Texas Instruments OMAP chip, the 360 has the worst battery life and performance of any of the watches we've reviewed, but it's still more visually appealing than most of the bland, boxy watches in the lineup.

Keep these numbers in mind when the Apple Watch ships in April. No wearable is going to hit iPhone-level (or even iPad- or Mac-level) sales right out of the gate, but these figures tell us what "success" looks like for a smartwatch. Even if Apple sells just a few million units in the device's first year, it's going to be more popular than any smartwatch that's on the market now.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Android, smartwatch

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