Smartwatch Category Poised for Huge Growth, but Apple Reaction Mixed

The smartwatch category is poised for explosive growth, even as most consumers expressed little interest in the new Apple Watch, according to a pair of recent surveys. 

A recent CitiResearch report estimated that under $2 billion in smartwatches will be sold in 2014, and that number could increase fivefold, to hit $10 billion by 2014, according to CBS News.

The survey also found that 8 percent of respondents plan to buy a smartwatch in the next year.  Some 29 percent added they would spend $100–$299 for a watch in the next 12 months, just under the Apple Watch’s opening price point of $349. But some 31 percent said they were unlikely to buy one regardless of price. 

Respondents said the most important qualities in a smartwatch were: price, display visibility, battery life, interaction with other devices, and the presence of a camera. However, some 80 percent of respondents said they’d be more likely to buy a high-tech timepiece if it looked like a traditional watch.

Meanwhile, the unveiling of the Apple Watch did not win over most respondents in a recent survey. Some 56 percent of adults in a poll said they had little desire for an Apple Watch following the company’s recent keynote, according to Tolana Quicksurveys.

About one-third of adults said they were likely to buy the new device—which, if that number holds up, would make it an impressive seller by most jewelry- and watch-industry standards. Some 10 percent of respondents indicated they would they “definitely” purchase the watch, and 22 percent answered they “probably” would. Another 12 percent said they “might.” Another 20 percent said they probably would not buy it, and 36 percent said they definitely wouldn’t.

Only 9 percent of respondents currently own a smartwatch.

As far as favorite features: 22 percent said size, 14 percent said health features, 13 percent said model options, 12 percent said the fact that it was customizable, and 8 percent said its iPhone compatibility.

Respondents seemed more inclined to the iPhone 6, also unveiled at the keynote, with 53 percent rating it favorably.


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JCK News Director