Apple Watch users are abandoning traditional watches

Apple Watch users seem to stop using normal watches, analysts claim.

Apple, Apple Watch, wearable, smartphone, iOS, iOS 9, watches 2
451 Research


The latest customer satisfaction data for Apple Watch should make interesting reading for anyone with a stake in the wearables market, but could be highly significant as the company gets ready to ship WatchOS 2.

This is because according to 451 Research, 54 percent of Apple Watch users say they are “very satisfied” with their device. An additional thirty-three percent confess to being “somewhat satisfied” leaving 6 percent each in the “somewhat unsatisfied” and “very unsatisfied” camps.

They also note that since buying their Apple Watch, an overwhelming 82 percent of owners who also have a traditional watch say the Apple Watch has replaced it – this could be a big threat to traditional watch sales.

Also read: 11 must-have Apple Watch apps

With all the hype surrounding the launch of the product it is possible some of us got hold of one while expecting too much from the device, though these latest figures don’t seem to suggest this is too big a problem: “28 percent of Apple Watch owners say their new smart watch Exceeds expectations and 51 percent say it Meets expectations,” the researchers claim.


So, what are the features users enjoy? Notifications, health and fitness monitoring and aesthetics/design are the top three features, with the touch screen, ease of use, user interface and Apple Pay rounding out the rest (see table below).

apple watch likes 451 Research

There does appear to be some concern regarding battery life. 37 percent of users described this as the most disliked attribute of the product. Other things people didn’t like include:

  • Lack of waterproofing – 25%
  • Selection of apps – 17%
  • Learning curve – 17%
  • Inability to remove preinstalled apps – 12%
  • Drains iPhone battery – 12%
  • Unresponsive touch screen – 10%

What is interesting is that Apple will resolve the second most disliked iPhone feature, ‘Reliance on iPhone’ when it releases watchOS 2 later this month, which should please 31 percent of Apple Watch users who dislike this reliance.

Winning wearable

The Watch has replaced other third party products, including traditional watches and dedicated health and fitness monitors, the researchers claim – 16 percent have even cancelled a planned watch purchase to get hold of an Apple Watch.

Jitesh Ubrani, senior analyst for IDC, recently said: “About two of every three smart wearables shipped this quarter was an Apple Watch. If this trend continues it seems likely we’ll see more decline in traditional wearables sales, and the company is already expected to dominate this segment until 2019.

Things aren’t yet perfect. 29 percent of users complain of a lag time when scrolling or refreshing the display while just 4 percent of uses claim to have a “very big problem” with the sensors, despite media reports claiming this is a major flaw in Apple Watch.

What really matters, of course (and certainly for Apple) is if the company has achieved the kind of word of mouth approval it likes to create with each of its products. Good news for Apple here, as the survey suggests that when the pros and cons of Apple Watch ownership are put in the balance, customers seem convinced enough to evangelize the product, at least a little.

“When Apple Watch owners were asked whether they’d recommend their new device to a friend or colleague, a robust 83% say they’re Very (55%) or Somewhat Likely (28%) to do so,” the researchers explain.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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