18 Million Smartwatches Ship; 12 Million Are From Apple

If traditional watchmakers want to keep up in the smartwatch race, there’s one major target ahead of them: Apple.

Now that the year is over, a tabulation of what wearables went where is out and, at least for smartwatches, Apple dominates.

At 12 million units, Apple accounted for two-thirds of all smartwatch shipments worldwide, according to the Canalys Wearable Technology service. Overall smartwatch shipments totaled 18 million for the year, 8 million of which were in the last quarter.

Somewhat in line with smartphones, Samsung came in second place in the last quarter, followed by Pebble and Huawei.

But smartwatches are hardly alone in the category of wearables. For example, more than 37 million basic bands shipped during the year, with Fitbit easily continuing to lead the pack. In the last quarter alone, 14 million basic bands shipped.

Unlike in the smartphone market share split where Android leads Apple, the Apple Watch OS had 67% market share compared to Android Wear at 9%.

An interesting twist in wearables is that even though someone buys one at any given time, the technology continues to evolve and advance.

This means that some smartwatch owners may want to upgrade not that far down the road, especially when wrist devices can communicate on their own, without the need for a nearby smartphone.

And then there is the crossover aspect, such as with the Fitbit Blaze, introduced at CES in Last Vegas last month. That device combines features of fitness trackers and smartwatches.

In the world of The Internet of Things, a person’s first wearable device is ultimately not likely to be their last.

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