On the day Apple confirms plans to release 14 special edition Olympic Games Apple Watch straps, the latest Wristly survey confirms an astonishing 94 percent of existing Apple Watch customers are still satisfied with their devices.
New software promise
That’s a big deal, even though Apple Watch sales have reportedly slowed pending the fall software update. Apple isn’t the only watchmaker feeling the flatness, Swiss watch industry exports fell faster than ever before in 1H 2016, and all eyes now are on Apple this fall when new software and potentially new watch designs may be in the frame.
“With the pace at which processors and core hardware system components are improving these days we can reasonably expect 25% to 30% higher performance and battery life for the next Apple Watch,” Wristly’s Bernard Desarnauts’ writes.
Wristly has identified some of the challenges Apple faces as it tries to build Apple Watch sales, but perhaps the biggest and most paradoxical problem is that even though customers are incredibly satisfied with their devices, they don’t yet seem ready to recommend one to their friends.
The good news is that the three biggest reasons they won’t recommend the device are for the most part being addressed in the next edition of watchOS.
- More speed and better overall performance including battery
- More utility and various capabilities
- More independence from iPhone.
The Wristly survey suggests that for most customers expectation of a new model this fall and a desire for performance improvements (and standalone connectivity) are the big inhibitors to stop people recommending the device.
The researchers also found that most Apple Watch users continue to wear their watch every day.
- 14 percent wear it all the time, including while sleeping;
- 73 percent wear it all day;
- 9 percent wear it most of the day.
- Of the remaining 4 percent just one in a hundred Apple Watch customers has given up using the device.
With so many people wearing their Watch on a daily basis, you’d be forgiven for expecting to hear reports of damaged devices. You’ll be disappointed if you are waiting for those -- 95 percent of users say their Watch remains in at least good condition.
Where we are right now is that the Apple Watch appears to be a device that users love which is robust enough to withstand the stresses and strains of being used every day. Most users can’t wait for the future watchOS 3 software upgrade, as they think it will address most of the perceived limitations of the device, such as performance.
If the software upgrade delivers what we all think it will, then this may well unlock a wave of product recommendations as customers get hyped about their smartwatch all over again.
I’m with the bands
Returning to Apple’s Olympic bands (and you can find out more about how Apple makes nylon bands here), and it seems Apple has quietly created a new business – watchstraps.
“At least 78 percent [of Apple Watch owners] have purchased a second band and there are an average of 3.4 bands per owner,” said Wristly. In fact, one-in-ten Apple Watch owners already have five or more bands, according to the 1,000-person sample group.
“Brilliant! Once again Apple revolutionizes an industry with something so seemingly simple and leaves everyone else wondering why they didn’t think of it first,” one Apple Watch user told Wristly.
Apple designed an all-new way of easily attaching and removing Apple Watch bands. It’s incredibly simple and very effective. “It took a tech company to invent a mechanism that most of us could operate without the need to visit a watch service store,” write Wristly. It takes most (81%) of customers under a minute to swap bands across.
Finally a note about Apple Watch sales: Apple’s kept these really quiet, but Wristly has assembled anecdotal data to suggest a 40 percent increase in the number of Apple Watch users since January.
We have seen estimates of 12 million sales, (I don’t know how accurate these estimates might be), but if there are indeed 3.4 bands per owner then Apple might have sold as many as 42 million bands so far – which equates to a fairly substantial accessory business in itself (even at $49 per strap that's big money).
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