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Canalys: Apple & Samsung Led The Smartwatch Market In 2015

February 8, 2016 - Written By Kishalaya Kundu

It’s not exactly a state secret that Android Wear devices are still not nearly as popular as the Apple Watch. A recent report from Juniper Research indicated that only 10 percent of smartwatches sold last year ran on the Android Wear platform, and now, UK-based market research and analysis firm, Canalys, seems to be corroborating those earlier reports. According to the company, Apple is by far and wide the most successful smartwatch brand in the world currently, by any yardstick. Apple’s first-generation smartwatches have apparently outsold all other competing devices by two to one, as per the latest revelation from Canalys. While the Apple Watch itself may have come in for scathing criticism from some Swiss watch-makers for being ‘too feminine’ and for lacking in substance, consumers seemed to have lapped ’em up, although not nearly as enthusiastically as Apple and some sections of industry insiders would have expected them to.

According to the latest report from Canalys, the Cupertino, CA-based company shipped as many as twelve million units of its first-gen smartwatches, with Samsung Electronics coming in at a distant number two with its Tizen-based Gear S2, which was launched at the IFA trade show in Berlin last year. The number three slot, meanwhile, is taken up by Pebble. Worryingly for Google, none of the three leading smartwatch brands run on Android Wear, which leaves Huawei, at number four, to take its pride of place as the single largest vendor of Android Wear-based smartwatches globally. Most industry watchers, however, are seemingly yet to decide on a common definition for the term ‘smartwatch’, meaning, different research reports  keep coming out with wildly fluctuating sales figures and market shares for different companies.

As for the overall smart wearables market, Fitbit continues to lead the sector, with Chinese tech company, Xiaomi, coming in at number two. The companies face some stiff competition from other wearables vendors like Jawbone and Garmin, but fitness trackers generally come with lower price-tags, resulting in lower profits for their vendors, when compared to the smartwatch industry. That being the case, Fitbit has already introduced the ‘Surge’ as the ‘Ultimate Fitness Super Watch’, and has also launched newer devices like the Blaze and the Alta in recent times. It now remains to be seen if Android Wear can start climbing up the charts any time soon, and if the platform will ever be able to emulate the success its mobile operating counterpart has been able to achieve.