Apple Watch has claimed 52 percent of global smartwatch shipments in 2015, despite only launching at the end of April. In sharp contrast, Android Wear shipments comprised less than 10% of sales for the year.
According to Juniper Research, Samsung's Tizen-based Gear S2 has not achieved strong sales volumes since it launched in November despite the Korean company's marketing push. Most other smartwatch sales are currently coming from smaller players, such as Pebble, Martian and Razer.
The problem is that consumers are having hard time imagining use cases for smartwatches. Apple Watch aside, the market thus far has been driven by lower priced devices with more basic functionality.
"The smartwatch is now a category waiting for a market," James Moar, research author said in a statement. "Newer devices have offered more polished looks and subtly different functions, but no large changes in device capabilities or usage. With smartwatch functions established, it is now up to consumers to decide if they want them, rather than technology companies providing more reasons."
Nevertheless, the smartwatch ecosystem is growing rapidly, with companies offering games and productivity-based apps. But in order to really thrive, Juniper believes, vendors must make the category more visible to general consumers and make finance deals with retailers.