New Survey Shows Apple iWatch Has Legs
BETHESDA, MD – April 19, 2013 – A new survey from 451 Research’s ChangeWave service shows exceptionally strong consumer interest in an Apple "iWatch" device.
"Apple's track record of delivering ultra-convenient, easy to use products with a perceived ‘cool factor’ is driving pre-release demand for the rumored Apple 'iWatch,'" said Andy Golub of 451 Research's ChangeWave service. "While an 'iWatch' doesn't yet exist – and if it ever does it will have to live up to super high expectations – it has the potential to be another huge success for the Cupertino, CA manufacturer."
The survey of 1,713 primarily North American respondents was conducted March 4-19.
Consumer Interest in Apple "iWatch"
Many analysts believe Apple is planning to release an "iWatch" later this year – a device that would sync with an iPhone or iPad to handle many common tasks such as phone calls and texting. Other features could include mobile payments, Siri digital assistant and health monitoring sensors, among other things.
To measure consumer interest in such a device, we provided respondents with a brief description of probable features and asked how likely it is they’ll buy an "iWatch" if-and-when it becomes available.
How likely is it that you will buy a new Apple "iWatch" for yourself or someone else if-and-when it becomes available?
The survey results show very strong consumer interest – with 5% of respondents saying they are Very Likely and 14% Somewhat Likely to buy an "iWatch" for themselves or someone else.
How does this level of interest compare to earlier Apple products before they were formally announced?
While there are no exact comparisons, here are the Apple "iWatch" results in relation to the ChangeWave pre-release findings for two earlier very successful Apple launches – a January 2010 survey on the original Apple Tablet and an August 2005 survey on the Apple Intel Mac.
Pre-Release Demand Comparison: Apple "iWatch" vs. Apple Tablet vs. Apple Intel Mac
The pre-release findings for the Apple "iWatch" are nearly identical to consumer interest in the Apple Tablet (Jan 2010) and Apple Intel Mac (Aug 2005) before each were officially announced.
"iWatch" Demand – Apple Product Owners vs. Non-Owners. Apple product owners are five times more likely to buy an "iWatch" compared to those who do not own any Apple products (25% vs. 5%).
Apple Product Owners vs. Non-Owners – Likelihood of Buying an "iWatch"
So why are consumers so interested in an Apple "iWatch?" A couple of factors stand out.
Loyalty to Apple (18%) is a key reason respondents are likely to buy the new device – not surprising considering a disproportionately high number of Apple product owners are likely to buy an "iWatch."
Other top reasons include Convenience (16%), Cool Factor (14%) and Ease of Integrating with Other Apple Products (11%).
Competition in the Wearable Technology Space. Several other leading technology companies are also already involved in the wearable technology space – including Samsung, Google, and Microsoft, among others.
It’s still early in the game in this emerging sector – but once the first blockbuster product or two hits the shelves it should move quickly considering the level of participation among top technology firms.
Importantly, these same companies are also battling it out in the smart phone market, where ChangeWave’s April Smart Phone Demand survey of 4,011 consumers shows Samsung continuing to surge – driven by its upcoming Galaxy S IV and growing interest in larger-sized screens.
Next 90 Day North American Smart Phone Demand
Better than one-in-four planned smart phone buyers (27%) say they’ll purchase a Samsung phone over the next 90 days, a 6-pt jump since the December survey.
As the following chart shows, this is the fourth time in the past six surveys that we’ve seen a major leap for Samsung, and it’s now at its highest level ever in a ChangeWave survey – double that of a year ago.
The impact Samsung is having on the market becomes more apparent when we look at consumer buying plans for the next 90 days among other major manufacturers:
The powerful wave of iPhone 5 demand that rocketed Apple to its all-time high just two quarters ago continues to settle back. Apple still leads all manufacturers in terms of North American demand in our survey, with two-in-five respondents (40%) who plan to buy a smart phone in the next 90 days saying they’ll get an iPhone.
Rumors circulating about a next gen iPhone range from a low cost model that competes directly with Samsung, to multiple model devices in 2013. Nothing is certain at this point, but undoubtedly many consumers are holding off on Apple smart phone purchases in anticipation of an upcoming release.
For the second survey in a row, Blackberry (7%) is registering a 3-pt uptick in planned buying. The road back for Blackberry remains a long, uphill battle, but they are finally seeing a spark of life in the consumer market after many years of market share decline.
HTC (2%) is unchanged from previously, but we note that the release of their new One model is just getting underway, and the survey was conducted prior to the announcement of the HTC First – which features the new Facebook Home software.
Smart Phone Customer Satisfaction
The Apple iPhone continues to outperform when it comes to customer satisfaction, with 70% of iPhone owners saying they’re Very Satisfied with their phone.
Samsung is also maintaining its strong satisfaction rating, with 54% of its customers saying they’re Very Satisfied with their smart phone. Nokia (51%) ranks a respectable third.
Blackberry (32%) still comes in last in satisfaction, but for the second survey in a row is seeing a major improvement – it’s up 11-pts in the past six months. HTC (39%) has also improved for the past two surveys (up 3-pts).
For more on the Apple "iWatch" Demand and Consumer Smart Phone survey results, follow this link.
Improvement in the U.S. Labor Market
A total of 18% report there are More new hires in their company at this point in the 1st Quarter vs. last quarter – up 2-pts since the previous survey. Only 14% report Less new hires – a 3-pt improvement. All-told it’s 5-pts better than previously.
Consumer PC Satisfaction Ratings
Apple (84% Very Satisfied) leads all other PC manufacturers in customer satisfaction among recent computer buyers. Samsung (65%) is next, followed by ASUS (61%) and Dell (58%).
Importance of Same Operating System Across All Devices
A key trend in ChangeWave surveys has been the growing importance to consumers of having all of their electronic devices running the same operating system. Better than half of respondents (51%) say it is Very Important (15%) or Somewhat Important (36%) to have the same OS across all of their devices.
Planned Corporate Smart Phone Buying
A total of 43% of respondents report their company plans to buy smart phones next quarter – up 4-pts from previously and the highest level ever in a ChangeWave survey.
ChangeWave Research, a service of 451 Research
Recent Research Reports
Consumer Spending Continues to Pick Up in May
May 16, 2013
Corporate Cloud Report - Continuing Strong Demand for Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud
May 14, 2013
Internet Service Provider Trends Report
May 6, 2013
Business Software Spending Continues to Improve - But Pace Slows
May 1, 2013
Wireless Service Providers: Shared Data Plans Continue to Draw Consumers
Apr 26, 2013
Another Slight Consumer Spending Uptick for April
Apr 19, 2013
New Survey Shows Apple iWatch Has Legs
Apr 17, 2013
Consumer Smart Phone Report: Another Momentum Leap for Samsung
Apr 12, 2013
TV Service Provider Trends Report: Price Remains Driving Factor Among Consumers
Apr 1, 2013
A Slight Uptick - U.S. Consumer Spending Continues to Improve
Mar 20, 2013