That's not a lot

720,000 Android Wear smartwatches shipped in second half of 2014

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Smartwatches might get a lot of attention, but it’s important to remember they’re still a new product category, and not a real commercial force yet. Case in point: A new report from Canalys indicates that only 720,000 Android Wear devices were shipped after the platform launched in June, and those devices had the might of Google and some of the world’s biggest hardware makers behind them.

According to Canalys, which drew data from its internal quarterly market tracking service, the Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch was the “clear leader” among the six Android Wear smartwatches currently available. The report also noted that the round LG G Watch R performed significantly better than its squarer sibling.

Although 720,000 might seem like a large number, let’s put this in perspective: It really appears that mainstream consumers don’t want or don’t understand why they should want a smartwatch. It’s also worth noting that iPhone owners can’t use Android Wear devices, which eliminates a lot of potential customers.

Apple said recently it sold 34,000 iPhones per hour during the past quarter — which means it sold more iPhones on average in a single day than six different Android Wear smartwatches did in half a year. Pebble has sold 1 million smartwatches over the life of the company, including an estimated 600,000 units between last March and December, but remember, Pebble is a startup. It used to be a Kickstarter and it didn’t get revealed at Google’s annual developer’s conference.

Also consider that the Canalys numbers measure units shipped, not units sold. It’s possible there are a few Samsung Gear Live smartwatches languishing on Best Buy shelves waiting for a clearance sale.

The smartwatch market will change markedly once Apple enters it in earnest. Nobody really knows how many smartwatches Apple is going to sell when Apple Watch launches sometime this April. Estimates range from a few million in its first year all the way up to 30 million units shipped in 2015. Apple inspires such dedication that there are going to be people who purchase — even line up for — Apple Watch, regardless of features, performance, or reviews, and this latest data point indicates it’s very possible that there will be more Apple Watches sold in its first day of availability than the total number of smartwatches running Google’s Android Wear platform.

4 Responses to “720,000 Android Wear smartwatches shipped in second half of 2014”

  1. This is…the worst analysis of a market I’ve ever seen. 720k units shipped (and we’ll just say 600k units sold, for teh lulz) is damn good for only two quarters of availability. Especially when the biggest seller was release at the end of Q3, practically. This article just wanted to praise Apple and throw Google under the bus: mission accomplished.

  2. Apple is going to take 90% of the profits in the wearables market within a matter of months. The only consumers who are going to be wearing non-Apple watches are those who can’t afford AppleWatches. Samsung is going to end up terribly butt-hurt as its nearly useless Galaxy Gear devices gather dust on some retailer’s shelves. Might as well forget about the Moto 360, too. The only way it’s going to be sold after AppleWatch hits the streets is if they cut the price in half. So many consumers are going to want an AppleWatch to go along with their new iPhones. It’s going to be so easy for Apple to just walk in and take over because the current Android smartwatches are practically useless to most consumers except to be used as wrist-playtoys.

    • This is going to be hysterical to watch. iWatch will immediately sell better than Android Wear at first. Though it will sell in nothing like the numbers press expectations have built up so it will be widely seen as a failure. Tim Cook will be taken to task for it as the first real post-Jobs era Apple product because it won’t sell like mad ala the iphone or ipad.
      Within a short period of time – one or two years Android Wear will have taken the dominant market share much as it has with phones and such.
      Apple will continue to rake in higher profits on lower sale points though. Not surprising given the selection bias of seeing if people who buy more expesive things pay more money for things.
      The idea that everyone not haivng one is due to not being able to afford one is so nouveau-riche an attitude that it’s just impossible to address.

  3. And Android Wear sold 720 k more units that Apple Watch , what the hell are you comparing watches sales with iphone sales for? Why not refrigerators or bananas, it’s equally random and irrelevant. Being in love with a brand is plain stupid and a lot worse for a journalist.
    Anyway, the Apple watch is slightly worse. Garbage form factor, design ,functionality and insane price. It is true that most Apple buyers are irrational and buy the brand not the product so Apple will sell some but the product is still pure garbage.
    All the watches are light years away from decent and their pricing is mostly absurd. As for fitness trackers they are mostly overpriced and a niche device.
    Don’t blame the consumers for the industry’s incompetence..

    PS: Just to torture the fanboy in you – Android sold more than 5 times phones in 2014 than Apple. Bananas are slightly less curved than the S6 Plus and refrigerators are way cooler than the ipad.