Wearable technology came of age in 2013, and fitness trackers, smartwatches—or some combination of both—led the charge.
Last week research firm Strategy Analytics released a report on the global smartwatch OS market, and not surprisingly Google's Android OS powered the majority of smartwatches shipped last year, according to the report. That's no shock because the single most popular, and most widely available, smartwatch today, is Samsung's Galaxy Gear, which runs Android. (Check out these seven reason why you should NOT buy the Galaxy Gear.) There's also relatively little completion in the space these days.
Here are a few notable stats from the report:
- Android runs on 61 percent of all smartwatches shipped globally in 2013, or approximately 1.2 million smartwatches
- 1.9 million total smartwatches were shipped in 2013
From Strategy Analytics:
"Android currently has several challengers in the smartwatch space, like Firefox and Pebble OS, but none of them are a major threat at this stage because of their relatively limited ecosystems and modest retail presence. Android’s main risk to its smartwatch dominance in the future will come from Apple iOS, Microsoft, and perhaps Tizen or COS."
The year 2014 stands to be an even bigger one for smartwatches and other wearable tech. In January, Strategy Analytics said it expects the global cellular-enabled smartwatch market to grow by more than 900 percent in the coming year.
Redg Snodgrass, co-founder and CEO or Wearable World, a group that helps fund wearable-tech startups, told me just a few weeks ago that he also expects big things in the smartwatch space this year.
"This year is the year of the smartwatch," Snodgrass said. "I think smartwatches will be ubiquitous by the end of the year."
Rumors suggest Samsung could unveil a new version of its Gear watch next week at the 2014 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and that device should be even more popular than its predecessor.
If you want more details on the smartwatch market in 2013, and you have $7,000 to burn (yes, 7,000), you can purchase Strategy Analytics' full report on the company's website.