According to research firm Canalys, there were more than 720,000 Android Wear devices shipped in total last year. That is equivalent to just about 16 percent of the total shipments of wearable devices worldwide in 2014, which numbers 4.6 million.
Based on Canalys's report, the Moto 360 owns the distinction of being the most popular wearable device so far. As for Pebble, the wearable device brand managed to stay strong by adapting aggressive pricing tactics and in part due to an apps lead.
There are already lots of smartwatches, wearable bands, and other wearable devices available in the market today, but we are still very far from declaring that the age of wearables has come. As for Android Wear and its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners, posting shipment numbers that fail to breach the one million mark is certainly a blow.
But let us not forget that the market for wearable devices is still relatively very new. It is only natural for manufacturers of wearable products to be a bit wary in evaluating the market. In the case of the Moto 360, for instance, it appears that it was limited only by supply constraints, which indicates that Motorola and other wearable device makers are proceeding cautiously, even if there is sufficient demand for their products. As for LG's G Watch R, it seems to have improved shipment numbers over the original G Watch. This may be a sign that more and more people really are beginning to appreciate and buy wearable devices.
To be fair, wearable devices that run on Android Wear only became widely available in the later part of 2014, which could explain the sub-million shipment figures. Combine that with the OEMs being careful in not overproducing early, then it is perfectly reasonable to expect that shipment numbers will not be that high at first.
In a strange twist of fate, Android Wear's success may depend a lot on how well competitor Apple launches its own wearable device. The Apple Watch is expected to be released widely in April of this year. And if all goes well for the Apple Watch, the press attention and hype may influence Android users to try check out their platform's wearable device counterpart -- that is, if they do not decide to switch from Android to iOS (which could happen, oh dear). The point is: if the Apple Watch starts to sell, it could encourage consumers as a whole to pay more attention to all types of wearable devices, including those that run on Android Wear.
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