Apple is expected to release its first smartwatch this year, but people may not be as interested in buying an “iWatch” as you may think, according to a new report from Piper Jaffray.
The investment firm surveyed 100 people about watches and wearable technology.
During the survey, only 14% of those polled said they would purchase a smartwatch from Apple priced at $US350.
The numbers haven’t changed much since Piper Jaffray senior analyst Gene Munster asked consumers the same question in October 2013. Back then, only 12% of respondents said they would consider buying an iWatch.
It’s worth noting that the price specified in the investment firm’s study is a little high compared to how much other manufacturers charge for smartwatches today.
The Samsung Gear 2, for example, costs $US299, while Sony’s Android-based Smartwatch 2 sells for $US199.
It’s still unclear how much Apple will charge for its first wearable if it does release a smartwatch in October as expected.
A $US200 iWatch would seem much more appealing to consumers, Piper Jaffray noted, but 41% still said they wouldn’t buy an Apple smartwatch regardless of the price.
Piper Jaffray’s survey specifically focused on a North American consumer audience with an average annual income of $US130,000 at age 32. If those making more than $US100,000 per year aren’t interested in buying an Apple smartwatch for $US350, it seems unlikely that those with lower income would be persuaded to do so.
The firm organised its findings regarding iWatch consumer interest in the chart below:
According to the company’s findings, Fitbit is among the most popular wearable tech manufacturers. Of the 18% per cent of respondents who already own a fitness band, 50% said they own a Fitbit.
Apple has been rumoured to enter the smartwatch game for more than a year, but this is the first time we’re hearing reports that claim to offer concrete details on the company’s plans. Re/code reports that Apple will release a smartwatch in October, and Reuters just released a report detailing some of the watch’s physical features.
This research suggests that Apple is going to have to work extra hard to convince people to buy an iWatch. However, it’s premature to judge the success or failure of a product until we see how Apple markets its to consumers.
There are reports that Apple is planning to sell 50-60 million iWatches in its first year on the market. That suggests Apple is pretty confident people are going to change their minds.
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