Apple shipped 12 million Apple Watches last year, according to Canalys. The research firm estimated that Apple Watch shipments made up about two thirds of all shipments in 2015. Samsung had the second largest number of shipments followed by Pebble and Huawei.
Canalys also reported that shipments for what it calls "basic bands" reached 37 million last year. Fitbit led the category followed by Xiaomi.
“Cashing in on holiday sales, Apple managed to rack up over 5 million shipments in the fourth quarter,” according to Analyst Jason Low. “Strong holiday shipments for Fitbit, Apple and Garmin drove growth of over 60 percent sequentially for all wearable bands. Across the entire wearable bands segment, Fitbit led all vendors in Q4, followed by Apple and Xiaomi.”
Another research firm, Gartner, recently predicted that about 274 million wearable electronic devices will be sold globally in 2016, which will generate $28.7 billion in revenue. Of this total, $11.5 billion in revenue will come from smartwatches, in part because of Apple.
"From 2015 through 2017, smartwatch adoption will have 48 percent growth largely due to Apple popularizing wearables as a lifestyle trend,” Gartner Research Director Angela McIntyre said in a statement. “Smartwatches have the greatest revenue potential among all wearables through 2019, reaching $17.5 billion.”
Gartner also predicts sports watches will grow from 21 million sold in 2015 to almost 27 million sold in 2017 and the other fitness monitors category will grow from 21 million sold in 2015 to 25 million sold in 2017.
"Of all the fitness wearables, sports watches will be the one product category to maintain its average retail price over the next several years,” McIntyre said. "Race runners, cyclists and divers will choose sports watches over smartwatches because the user interface, capabilities and durability are tailored to the needs of an athlete in their sport. Continued advances in sensors and analytics for sports watches will bring new capabilities that bolster average retail prices."
About a month ago, Juniper reported that Apple Watch shipments accounted for 52 percent of global smartwatch shipments last year. Meanwhile, Android Wear shipments were just 10 percent of total smartwatch shipments.