Smartwatches based on Google’s Android Wear platform didn’t start shipping until the latter half of 2014, but since that time over 720,000 units have been sold according to Canalys. Customers were initially only presented with lackluster products like the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live, but those offerings were soon joined by more attractive smartwatches like the Motorola Moto 360, LG G Watch R, Sony SmartWatch 3, and the ASUS ZenWatch.
When it comes to a dominant player, the Moto 360 was the “clear leader” according to Canalys. Unfortunately, sales by vendor/model weren’t provided, so we don’t know exactly how badly the Moto 360 stomped its Android Wear competition. In addition, the stylish G Watch R sold “significantly better” than the G Watch, which looked to me like a rough prototype that was rushed out the door to suck in early adopters.
When taking the overall wearables market into account, Android Wear sales are just a drop in the bucket. A total of 4.6 million wearables were shipped during 2014, with Pebble alone contributing over one million units to the figure.
Looking forward, all eyes are on Apple and the Apple Watch, which is supposed to debut in April. Canalys expects that the wearables market will explode once Apple enters the fray and all players will have to step up their game to compete. “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.”
The Apple Watch will having a starting price of $349 and will rise dramatically from there. The gold Apple Watch Edition is expected to be priced into the thousands of dollars and will reportedly be locked in custom safes within Apple Retail Stores during business hours (and obviously during closing hours as well).