You’d have maybe expected sales to rise a little more than 37 percent quarter on quarter, but the unreleased Apple Watch probably made a lot of folks wait.
Market research and analysis firm Canalys has come forward with a report we’ve been eagerly anticipating. Their most recent probe of the tech universe confirms smartwatches and smart bands are gaining in mainstream popularity, although they’re still well behind smartphones or tablets.
All in all, Canalys believes “nearly 5 million smart and basic wearable bands shipped in Q3 2014” worldwide. That results in a 1.66 mil monthly average for July, August and September, or the number of iPhone 6 copies iFans pre-ordered during the first 10 hours or so of availability.
Of course, that’s not really a fair comparison, since fitness trackers and intelligent wristwatches continue to be viewed as oddities by many tech consumers. Otherwise put, futuristic devices not quite ready for show time.
You also need to take into account the recent introduction of the Apple Watch, which clearly reduced interest for Android Wear gizmos or basic bands from Fitbit or Jawbone. Last but not least, the most sought after member of the Android Wear family, the Moto 360, was extremely hard to come by until a few weeks ago.
Ultimately, the 360 managed to pull off a 15 percent market share all by its own in Q3, which is higher than the combined total of in-use Pebbles. It’s impressive when compared to Samsung’s figures too, even though the Koreans remain the undisputed wearable kings, with more than half of the overall pie.
The “others” piece makes up for 21 percent of “smart wearable bands” out and about, so there’s a lot of room to grow for OEMs like LG or Sony. Fitbit and Jawbone as well, with the two still in the lead in the basic band world. Garmin grabbed the bronze medal there, surpassing Nike, which lost its place in the top five too, after massive leaps from Xiaomi and Huawei.