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Research firm says over 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches shipped in 2014

Research firm says over 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches shipped in 2014

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Research firm Canalys today revealed that over 720,000 Android Wear devices shipped in 2014, according to its own data. Motorola is said to be "the clear leader" among manufacturers, likely owing to the standout design of its Moto 360. Canalys notes that LG's G Watch R performed significantly better than the company's bland first try at Android Wear; the original G Watch was one of two launch devices for Google's wearables operating system. The research firm claims that Samsung's decision to divide and conquer by supporting both Android Wear and Tizen — mostly the latter — has also put it in a good position, though Canalys VP Chris Jones notes that the endless stream of wrist-worn products has "struggled to keep consumers engaged" and Samsung must to step up its efforts to get developers behind Tizen if the platform is to prove viable. Again, these are numbers shipped and not actual sales data.

Pebble has racked up 1 million sales since 2013

Last month, Pebble — the Kickstarter hit that propelled us into the wearables era — announced that it's sold over 1 million smartwatches since launching in 2013. And according to CEO Eric Migicovsky, people remain very interested in the company's products; he told The Verge that sales haven't fallen off or experienced any major slump thanks to the frequent updates that have brought new features to Pebble and Pebble Steel.

But in both cases, the numbers show that smartwatches are a far cry from the essential, always-at-your-side devices that smartphones have become. It's possible they'll never become indispensable in the same way, but we're still in the very early days of this market. Apple has yet to ship its own take on the ideal smartwatch, and new Android Wear devices are being announced at a frequent clip. 2014's shipment numbers won't blow anyone away, but 2015 will likely wind up a far more important year in gauging consumer interest in wearables.

Verge Video Archives: Hands-on with Android Wear at Google I/O 2014