Canalys forecasts over 17 million wearable bands to ship in 2014

Basic and smart wearable band shipments grew dramatically in the second half of 2013. 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% market share in the second half of the year. At the same time, Samsung accounted for the majority of smart band shipments according to Canalys market estimates.

Though currently a relatively small market serving fitness enthusiasts, wearable bands represent a massive opportunity in the medical and wellness segment. 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. Canalys estimates that this number will grow to over 23 million units by 2015, and over 45 million by 2017.

Canalys 2014 wearable bands forecast

“The wearable band market is really about the consumerization of health,” said Canalys Analyst Daniel Matte in a statement. “There will be exciting 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.

“Android will be critical for developing the smart band app ecosystem, though significant changes will be required before it is suitable for wearable devices,” added Matte. “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.”

Wearable band shipment data and five-year forecasts are taken from Canalys’ Appcessory Analysis service, which provides quarterly market tracking, including country-level estimates. For definitions of wearable bands, including basic and smart bands, please contact a local Canalys office.

Source: Canalys


  1. less and less people have been wearing watches the past few years. why? cause smartphones already have that info.

    why do these companies think that all of a sudden everyone will now wear a watch just because they decided to make a bunch of smart watches. the people will still have their smartphones in their pocket.

    rumor has it apple is coming out with a watch. i love apple products, but if they come out with a watch I’m not buying it. I don’t want to wear a stupid watch.

    If apple comes out with a watch, i except it to be a major dud.

    1. I can think of numerous contexts when I’d like to have basic info on my wrist, instead of having to dig under layers of cold weather or rain clothing to get my phone out. Similarly while biking or driving. If that unit also happens to tell the time, nice bonus.

      1. Bracelets, along with other forms of wearable art, have been “trendy” since our neolithic forebears crafted them from bone, quartzite, or ivory. These items glorify our precious bodies, and often confer special magic. They are timeless markers of emotional meanings recognisable down all the corridors of time. It’s a trend Apple is safe to bet on.

        1. I must object to your post Hannah.

          – You display actual knowledge of the topic you’re giving an opinion on.
          – You didn’t call anyone names, insult them or swear.
          – And you made a reasonable comment based on your initial facts.

          There is considerable danger that you and a few others may influence the tone of this site!

    2. Maybe because the device won’t be a watch perhaps. Not needing a Watch makes the wrist free to sport something rather different don’t you think. Think car rather than more capable horse all the time, can do some of the same things but inherently different.

    1. Wearable devices will also be purchased by people who have iPhones that were bought in earlier quarters too.

      The numbers to be expected are anybody’s guess, but 45 million per year might be achievable for the whole sector. It totally depends on the precise products, costs and features, so until those things are known, trying to predict a precise number of shipments in a few years is futile.

  2. Rumor has it that Apple is not coming out with a time piece but actually preparing a time machine. Analysts expect sales of 8.4 million the first year and 5.1 million last year and 1.3 million by the Middle Ages. They predict that many will use them to play the stock market and also place bets.

  3. 2014 shipments = 8M units LOL. iCal’d

    another humorous passage :
    “Android will be critical for developing the smart band app ecosystem” followed by “Battery life and quality of sensor data will be vital metrics of success for all smart bands.”

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