Apple kneecapped Google's Smartwatch efforts: Apple set to drive major 2015 growth in wearables

Apple has managed to sell more Apple Watches in a single day than the number of Android Wear smartwatches sold in an entire year (Catalyst)

  • In 2014, all manufacturers using Google's smartwatch operating system — including Motorola, LG, and Samsung — sold 720,000 units.
  • In contrast, Apple sold an estimated 957,000 Apple Watches on the first day the devices were available for preorder.
  • These figures do not bode well for Google's app ecosystem.
  • Apple is going to win the numbers game on this one.
  • Suddenly, Android on smartwatches becomes the platform with the smaller market share, and without the lucrative user base to justify prioritizing development for it.

Apple Watch will dramatically grow the market for smart bands and wearables overall. 

‘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 Struggles

Over 720,000 Android Wear devices shipped in 2014 out of a total of 4.6 million smart wearable bands. Though the Moto 360 remained supply constrained through Q4, Motorola was the clear leader among 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.

This isn't to say that no one is going to develop for Android Wear. For larger companies that want to maximize their reach, it will be worth building products for both companies' platforms. But when it comes to smaller developers who need to choose carefully where they allocate their resources, Android just lost its one massive advantage.

Android Wear will need to improve significantly in the future, and we believe it will do so.’ (Catalyst)

Pebbled Doing Well

Pebble meanwhile shipped a total of 1 million 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. But it has struggled to keep consumers engaged and must work hard to attract developers while it focuses on Tizen for its wearables.’ said Canalys VP and Principal Analyst Chris Jones.

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