Nearly 5 million smart and basic wearable bands have shipped in the third quarter 2014, with total unit shipments increasing 37% quarter on quarter, according to market research firm Canalys.
Based on their estimates Motorola Mobility’s Moto 360 was by far the most successful of the initial Android Wear devices, accounting for over 15% of the smart band market. However Samsung remained the overall smart band market leader, with 52% market share. The third player in this market is Pebble with 12 percent market share.
“The announcement of the Apple Watch late in the quarter has likely had an effect on sales of existing devices, as some consumers will choose to wait for Apple’s wearable,’ said Canalys Analyst Daniel Matte. ‘The smart band market was flat between Q2 and Q3, but with an installed base of over 1.8 billion Android smart phones, there is a huge potential market of Android users not considering an Apple Watch.“
Sport band market
Fitbit and Jawbone held onto their first and second place positions, respectively, in the basic band market for the quarter, explained Canalys.
Garmin passed Nike to take third place in shipments, while Xiaomi and Huawei also overtook the one-time market leader and rounded out the top five.
“Low-end basic bands providing simple activity tracking functionality are becoming increasingly commoditized, and will flood the market heading into the holidays, especially in China,“ commented Canalys analyst Jingwen Wang.
“To combat this, Fitbit, Jawbone and others have attempted to make basic bands smarter, adding various smart watch features and increasing the sophistication and integration of sensors,“
This clearly makes the frontier between bands and smart watches very fluid as we have seen with the new FitBit (read here).
Health & Fitness cloud platforms
Beyond the hardware itself big players are pushing their health and fitness platforms towards app and devices developers. Google Fit, Microsoft Health and the Samsung Digital Health Platform have all recently been announced in response to Apple’s HealthKit.
Canalys noticed that “While the new Microsoft Band does not have strong hardware appeal, Microsoft’s cross-platform cloud services approach is a wise strategy, and the company is importantly staking its relevance early in a new market. There is tremendous opportunity for brand new services on wearable platforms, and not just in the area of health and fitness.
“Expect developers to eagerly embrace Apple’s WatchKit SDK when it is released later this month,“ the research firm added.