Does Android need to watch its back?

The war of wearable technology is on, and there’s no surprise about who is contesting it.

Once again, Apple and Google are going head-to-head in a sales battle, with the Apple Watch up against the Android Wear range of smartwatches.

But what will the race to the top of the wearable tech pile do to the wider contest between Apple and Android?

Android Watch

CC by  Yasunobu Ikeda 

Observers of the markets watched with intrigue as Apple launched its watch to huge fanfare earlier in the year. After all, Apple had been in the ascendency in the year leading up to the launch, with figures announced in February showing that Apple sold more iPhones than all the various Android smartphones put together in quarter four of 2014.

This was the first time in two years that sales of iPhones had eclipsed those of its Android-based competitors, albeit only by a margin of 0.1 per cent.

Commentators remarked that the addition of the iPhone 6 had helped complete the most comprehensive portfolio of Apple products ever. So what will the introduction of the Apple Watch do to the balance of power between Apple and Google?

Android Watch wrist

CC by  pestoverde 

Well, it would take a monumental swing in Apple’s favour to knock the Android OS off its perch. Despite the Q4 figures, Google continues to trounce Apple in the global smartphone market, shipping over 1 billion units in 2014 compared to Apple’s 192.7 million units worldwide.

To only comment on the two major OS manufacturers is not to show undue bias so much as it is to reflect the true shape of the market. The smartphone OS market really is a two horse race.

Android claimed 81.2 per cent of the market share in 2014, while Apple took a respectable 15 per cent. That leaves Microsoft with a 3 per cent share, and all other OS providers to make up the remaining 0.7 per cent.

The early indications are that the Apple Watch could give iOS a huge boost in terms of its global market share, after the announcement of the first round of sales showed that the Apple Watch sold more in its first day than Android Wear did in the whole of 2014, with 957,000 sold upon launch, compared to Android Wear’s figures of 720,000 in 2014.

Apple are offering just one product – the Apple Watch – whereas Android watches are available from a range of different manufacturers. But can the likes of Motorola, LG, and Samsung ensure that Android stays ahead of the curve in terms of sales?

If the current trend continues and Android becomes the smaller player in the smartwatch market, will that have a knock-on effect in the smartphone market?

Android dancing

CC by  JD Hancock 

Investors and spread betters will be watching this market with intrigue. Spread betting is the act of betting on a change in the value of a security, and you can visit tradefair website or check out other online resources for information on how to get involved in this quick, simple way to work the markets.

Signs of volatility in the smartphone market will be attractive to spread betters, who are always looking for moving stocks to bet on.

However, as Matt Krantz at USA Today observed, the success of the Apple Watch isn’t necessarily going to have a huge impact on the price of Apple stock.

No less than 60 per cent of Apple’s business comes from one extremely popular product – the iPhone. So even if the Apple Watch sells in excess of 17 million units, which it is expected to achieve, it will be little more than a drop in the ocean for Apple as a whole.

Perhaps the stock to watch is that of Android, which for the first time in a while might have to get used to being a smaller player in terms of audience share when it comes to wearable tech.

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