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Got an Android Wear gizmo? Yeah, you and '719,999 other people'

It's the Detroit of smart gumble

Last year, makers of Android Wear devices shipped just 720,000 units, according to analyst house Canalys.

The firm's researchers have gazed into their crystal balls, and reckon Google's operating system was able to capture only a small share of the 4.6 million wearable bands and smartwatches shipped last year, presumably worldwide.

Samsung was named as the top vendor in the whole smart-gizmo market, though the analysts note that the company saw its shipments split between two platforms as it transitioned from Android to its own Tizen platform.

Android Wear, which launched in March, ended the year behind even the crowd-funded Pebble smartwatch, which since its 2013 release has racked up one million units sold, said Canalys.

Motorola was said to have "the clear lead" in the Android Wear group with its Moto 360 smartwatch, followed by LG, Asus and Sony. El Reg asked Canalys to show its workings, but the firm declined.

While smartwatches sold throughout last year, the analysts expect the market to really develop in 2015, in large part thanks to the arrival of bling-master Apple and its Watch. The company unveiled its wrist-puter ion September, and has said it will flog the gizmo in April.

"Apple made the right decisions with its WatchKit software development kit to maximize battery life for the platform, and the Apple Watch will offer leading energy efficiency," said Canalys analyst Daniel Matte.

"Android Wear will need to improve significantly in the future, and we believe it will do so."

The Android platform will have to significantly improve its sales if it wants to compete with Apple.

The Cupertino giant is said to have ordered parts for as many as 50 million Apple Watch units, though it is unclear if the company hopes to ship that many units or is simply stockpiling components for a later date. ®

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