Samsung leads smart wearable band market in H1, says Canalys

Samsung is leading the smart wearable band market in the second half of 2013 with 54 percent, said a report by Canalys.

Sony has a market share of 19 percent in smart wearable band market. Pebble is in the third position with 16 percent share in H2.

The Korean smartphone vendor’s Samsung Galaxy Gear shipments took Samsung to the top of the smart band category, though disappointing sell-through will necessitate more promotional activity in coming months.

Canalys says Fitbit became the new leader of the wearable band market, following the launch of its affordable Flex and Force bands in May and October 2013 respectively. It dominated the market for basic bands, with over 50 percent market share in the second half.

Chris Jones, VP and principal analyst at Canalys, said: “Basic band vendors have greater wearable expertise and have shipped greater numbers to date, but smart bands are already growing faster. Increasingly, smart bands will adopt basic band features as the two categories converge.”

ABI Research recently said the wearable device sales volumes in 2014 will come from healthcare and sports and activity trackers. Google Glass will not be a significant commercial success in 2014.

Canalys says 2014 will be the year that wearables become a key consumer technology, as the smart band segment is estimated to reach 8 million annual shipments.

Samsung-Galaxy-Gear

Canalys estimates that this number will grow to over 23 million units by 2015, and over 45 million by 2017.

Android will be critical for developing the smart band app ecosystem, though significant changes will be required before it is suitable for wearable devices. Canalys expects Android to enter the smart band market soon in a meaningful way. Battery life and quality of sensor data will be vital metrics of success for all smart bands.

ABI Research senior analyst Joshua Flood said: “Healthcare and sports and activity trackers are rapidly becoming mass-market products. On the flipside,wearable devices like smart watches need to overcome some critical obstacles. Aesthetic design, more compelling use cases, battery life and lower price points are the main inhibitors. How vendors approach these challenges and their respective solutions will affect the wearable market far in the future.”

Canalys Analyst Daniel Matte said that there will be innovations that disrupt the medical industry this year, and with the increased awareness about personal wellbeing they will bring to users, having a computer on your wrist will become increasingly common.

Canalys expects that high-margin smart bands that incorporate sophisticated sensor technology will offer vendors enormous profit potential.

Anand B
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