Wearables have really kicked off in the last two years. We have seen many tech companies released their very own smartwatches, had thanks to that we've also seen a ton of different design approaches. Huawei Watch, Apple Watch, Moto 360 line, Asus' Zenwatch line, Pebble Steel… there are a ton of smartwatches out there already, and 2016 looks to bring a ton of additional offerings to the market, not only smartwatches, but smart wearables in general.
According to a new report from DigiTimes, we're going to see over 100 million smartwatches and smartbands shipped in 2016. The 2nd-gen Apple Watch is set to be the frontrunner according to industry sources, probably because the first-gen Apple Watch was the most demanded smartwatch out there. The sources have also stated that the restrictions to Android Wear OS, and difficulties to differentiate products have slowed down the growth of this platform. Now, to put that into perspective, the market share of Android Wear devices declined to 2.7% in 2015, which is a significant drop compared to 11.9% from 2014. This info is based on the estimate by Taipei-based Market Intelligence and Consulting institute (MIC).
Now, the sources claim that Android Wear is expected to grow in 2016 considering the fact that it will expand to the Chinese smartphone market. Google Services are making a comeback to China this year, and that will certainly benefit Android Wear. The platform is definitely expected to grow this year, but the estimates are still not in. Now, as far as smartbands are concerned, Xiaomi has been really successful in 2015, as they were in 2014 as well. Their newly-released Mi Band is selling really well, and considering how affordable it is, other companies will have to find a way to differentiate if they want to compete with the China-based tech giant. That is pretty much it, all in all, 2016 will be a very exciting year as far as wearables in general go. We expect quite a few new smartwatches and smartbands to reach the market, and Android Wear is expected to grow as well, which are great news for the industry, that's for sure.