Moto 360 Leading Android Wear Charge
Nearly 5 million smart and basic wearable bands shipped in the third quarter, with total unit shipments increasing 37 per cent quarter on quarter, Canalys stated.
Despite the Moto 360 being supply-constrained, Canalys stated its “appealing design helped it to easily out-ship other Android Wear products”.
Canalys additionally noted LG has responded to early interest in the Moto 360 “by quickly adopting a circular display with the G Watch R”.
Meanwhile, Samsung, which remains the overall smart band market leader, has “already begun to experiment with larger display sizes and cellular connectivity with the Gear S”.
Android Wear will be fundamental to the development of the market and, along with Apple’s Watch OS, is poised to be one of the two dominant wearable operating systems outside of China, Canalys stated, adding, however, that Google will “need to redesign the Android Wear user interface before the platform can achieve its true potential”.
“The announcement of the Apple Watch late in the quarter has likely had an effect on sales of existing devices, as some consumers will choose to wait for Apple’s wearable,” commented Canalys analyst Daniel Matte.
“The smart band market was flat between Q2 and Q3, but with an installed base of over 1.8 billion Android smartphones, there is a huge potential market of Android users not considering an Apple Watch.”
Meanwhile, Fitbit and Jawbone held onto their respective first and second place positions in the basic band market for the quarter.
Garmin passed Nike to take third place in shipments, with Xiaomi and Huawei also overtaking Nike to complete the top five.
“Low-end basic bands providing simple activity tracking functionality are becoming increasingly commoditised and will flood the market heading into the holidays, especially in China,” Canalys analyst Jingwen Wang stated.
“To combat this, Fitbit, Jawbone and others have attempted to make basic bands smarter, adding various smartwatch features and increasing the sophistication and integration of sensors.”
With Google Fit, Microsoft Health and the Samsung Digital Health platform all recently announced in response to Apple’s HealthKit, Canalys further noted “there is tremendous opportunity for brand new services on wearable platforms”.
While the new Microsoft Band “does not have strong hardware appeal”, Canalys stated Microsoft’s “cross-platform cloud services approach is a wise strategy”.