Canalys, which has a better-than-most handle on the size and shape of the consumer wearables market, is out with its 1Q15 numbers, and they show Fitbit maintaining its lead in a growing market. Overall, the research company said the wearable band market grew 150 percent year over year, with more than 7 million units shipped in the first quarter.
The company did not publicly break out Fitbit’s numbers, but cite “major” volume growth. Interestingly, the Number 2 position is held by Xiaomi and its Mi band, which is cheap and popular in China. Garmin’s Vivo line also came in for notice with a strong quarter.
Overhanging everything, of course, is Apple. Canalys expects Apple to ship 20 million watches this year. (By our estimations, that would be roughly two-thirds of the entire smart band market for 2015, unless Apple radically expands the market.) Apple’s entry, the company said, was already hurting Samsung, which — because the Apple Watch relies on the iPhone and won’t work with Android devices — was forced to discount products that were already in the channel.