Since Apple is (still) silent about the sales of its wearables (we’ve heard from Tim Cook only that Watch sales performed well), it is up to market research firms and analysts to give their best shot and spill out some numbers. Canalys is the next in line to do so, saying that the Apple Watch accounted for two-thirds of worldwide smartwatch shipments in 2015, with more than 12 million units shipped.
“Cashing in on holiday sales, Apple managed to rack up over five million shipments in the fourth quarter,” according to Analyst Jason Low. Strong holiday shipments for Fitbit, Apple and Garmin drove growth of over 60% sequentially for all wearable bands.
Samsung ranked #2, according to Canalys, thanks to an improved design with its Gear 2 smartwatch, which received a much better consumer reception than previous wearable efforts. Pebble follows Samsung in third place, and Huawei in fourth. The latter has established itself as the leading Android Wear manufacturer.
Basic band shipments exceeded 37 million in 2015, says Canalys, with Fitbit setting quarterly shipment records as it maintained its position as the leader in this category. Fitbit is followed by Xiaomi in second place with 12 million Mi Band shipments for the year.
Smartwatches have the greatest revenue potential among all wearables through 2019, according to market research firm Gartner, who predict that it will reach $17.5 billion by then. However, adoption rates will remain well below those of the smartphone, it cautions.