No One Is Buying Google's Smartwatches

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One question has dogged smartwatches: why do consumers need one? So far, it seems they don't.

New figures from Canalys reveal Android Wear devices, the connected wrist watches using Google's software, are hardly making a dent. In the final six months of 2014, just 720,000 smartwaches were shipped, according to internal data from the research firm. Moto 360, the round watch from Motorola and Lenovo, which went on sale in September, was the top performer despite supply hurdles. It led models from Samsung, LG, Sony and Asus.

Google introduced Android Wear last March and made the wearable software a feature of its developers conference three months later.

Weak battery life and limited apps have kept sales low, according to Canalys. So-called smart bands, which include fitness trackers, have done better, shipping 4.6 million units during 2014, with Samsung ranking as the top manufacturer.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the findings. As the paper noted, Apple shipped almost as many iPhones per day as total Android Wear devices during the two quarters.

Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company's entrant into wearables, the Apple Watch, will go on sale in April.

Several of the hardware companies, along with Google, have advertised the devices with digital and targeted social campaigns. Yet none have made a sizable marketing push in broadcast or print.

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