Wearable market grows by almost 700% year over year in first half of 2014

Wearable market grows by almost 700% year over year in first half of 2014
Canalys, an analysis and consulting firm focusing on the mobile market, has released figures for the first half of 2014 showing a 684% increase in wearable shipments compared to the same time frame last year. The worldwide growth is attributed to Fitbit and Jawbone, who were global leaders in shipments of what Canalys calls “basic bands.” In their “smart bands” category, the firm sees Samsung leading on the back of its newly released Gear 2, Gear 2 Note and Gear Fit. Second place went to Pebble, which continues its market and ecosystem growth, while Sony takes third place.

Starting in the third quarter, Canalys will be tracking Android Wear, as the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live have officially launched the platform for consumers. The real question is whether Apple will join the fray this year, as recent reports suggest its long-rumored smartwatch has hit production snags. If Apple does release a smartwatch in significant quantities, it is very likely that the annual growth of the market will be much larger than Canalys' prediction in 2013 and its current estimates. Previously, Canalys expected a 900% growth in wearables for 2014, but the current numbers suggest a much larger growth. Similarly, the analysts predict a high estimate of just under 2 million smart bands sold for the year. This would include any Android and Apple devices that may be introduced between now and the holidays. However, even with reduced production, well-placed analysts predict at least 30 million units sold this holiday season, if Apple does release a smartwatch before then.

The wearable category is relatively new in the mobile technology realm, so growth numbers like this are not entirely unexpected. As the market expands with a diversity of products, consumers have a higher likelihood of finding a product that fits their personal needs. This drives market growth as more and more consumers buy the products. However, the technology is still in its early days, as Daniel Matte, a Canalys analyst, points out. In his view, there needs to be dramatic improvements to all components and applications associated with these products to satisfy consumer expectations. Currently, people are weary of buying devices that depend on their smartphones too much, have poor battery-life or can't keep up with an active lifestyle that may or may not involve frequent splashes of water or mud.

Given all the talk about Android Wear and the potential Apple smartwatch, it would be interesting to see what comes out this holiday season. In any case, the market will only grow from here and the products will only improve. Soon, you will finally be able to count all your steps from the couch to the fridge and back without worrying your smart band will get tired before you do. Exciting, isn't it?

sources: Canalys, CBSNews



13. chuongster

Posts: 33; Member since: May 13, 2012

700% growth is amazing. still a small market though. they just need to make it more classy.

10. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Umm...this time last year, there were only 2 watches available. What's the point of this article. Of course it's going to grow a lot. This statistic means nothing.

12. sgodsell

Posts: 7696; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Last year at this time there was more then two smart watches. I know I had 2 already at that time. Its just that more and more were coming that offered a rich spec sheet with lots of features.

4. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Full baked wearables needed at the end.

8. sgodsell

Posts: 7696; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

What do you mean? Like a smart watch with a cellular connection and its own Sim card? There is a number of those already and more are coming as well.

9. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

No, not like that. I mean efficient and optimised hardware-software combination.

11. sgodsell

Posts: 7696; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Efficient. So you are mainly talking about battery life then. Well there are a ton of wearables already have that will give you great battery life already. Like the Pebble, or Sony's SmartWatch, Martian, and a few others. I have a few myself already. I started with the original Sony SmartWatch, then acquired the Pebble, Gear Neo, Gear Live and LG G Watch. If you are looking for long battery life then go with the first 3. If you want robust features and have a Samsung phone then go with a Gear 2, Gear Neo. If you want the latest hands free operational smart watches, then Gear Live or LG G watch. For me I charge my phone every night, so charging the watch at the same time is not an issue for me. I gain a hands free watch that I can talk to. I can even just say OK Google, open Starbucks and then the watch displays my Starbucks barcode. I have a number of apps on the watch already. I just have to open them with my voice. Android wear has the most growth potential out of all of them because it brings the most robust specs to the table for wearables, and it features KitKat 4.4W OS with a minimum of 512mb of ram with 4gb of storage. So regular Android apps could run already if they supported the display size and resolution of the current Android wear watches.

3. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

I want a Bulova, Seiko or other semi affordable option. Team up OEMs! What about a pocket watch even?

1. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

I'm hoping android wear and Apple's smartwatch will be able to take a decent portion of the pie. Since more competition means more innovation which is greatly needed in the wearable industry at the moment.

2. sgodsell

Posts: 7696; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Well this September we are going to see a number of new wearables for Android wear alone. From Motorola (Moto 360), LG G watch R (round), Asus has an inexpensive watch, HTC has a smart watch coming, Sony is releasing the smart watch 3. All these devices are for Android alone. Four out of the five are going to be running Android wear.

5. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

6. sgodsell

Posts: 7696; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Sammy is working on a round face watch as well now. But won't be released in September.

7. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

But article says it'll take on Moto 360 and G watch R.

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