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Fitbit leads wearable bands, Apple Watch to make impact

25 May 2015

The first quarter of 2015 saw the wearable band market grow over 150%, with more than 7 million units shipped, according to a new report by research firm Canalys.

Exercise tracker brand Fitbit tops the sales figures, experiencing major year-on-year volume growth, the report says. 

Xiaomi’s Mi Band experienced increased shipments, predominantly in China, securing the company second place in sales. The report also notes Garmin had a strong quarter and rolled out two new products in its vívo line.

Android Wear represented 31% of smart watch shipments, and Canalys forecasts 20 million Apple Watches will be shipped in 2015. 

“The Apple Watch has set the benchmark for other smart watches and will make up the majority of shipments this year,” says VP and principal analyst Chris Jones.

“Despite the Apple Watch requiring an iPhone, Apple’s impending entrance in Q2 had a negative impact on vendors such as Samsung,” he says. “Discounting has been used to clear inventory in the channel.” 

The report from Canalys reveals Android Wear has not yet made a significant impact on the wearable band market, as Android for mobile has done.  It remains to be seen if the Apple Watch will have a significant impact on Android wearables upon its release.

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