Apple dominated the smart watch market in 2015, accounting for over 12 million units and two-thirds of all shipments with industry rival Samsung once again trailing behind.
But according to Canalys estimates, the South Korean tech giant returned to second place in Q4, as the improved design of the Gear S2 saw a much better consumer reception than previous wearable efforts by the company.
Pebble came third and Huawei came fourth, establishing itself as the leading Android Wear vendor with basic bands exceeding 37 million shipments for the year.
Fitbit set a quarterly shipments record as it comfortably led the category while Xiaomi held second place, shipping 12 million Mi Bands during 2015.
“Cashing in on holiday sales, Apple managed to rack up over five million shipments in the fourth quarter,” according to Jason Low, Research Analyst, Canalys.
“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.”
According to Daniel Matte, Research Analyst, Canalys, software increasingly belongs on the wrist, and this is the direction the market is going.
“As the next step along this path, the Fitbit Blaze is the right product for the company to develop,” Matte adds.
“It is competitively priced and is still being squarely focused on fitness.”