It's Not All Love For the Apple Watch

Apple WatchThe folks over at Wristly recently conducted a survey of dissatisfied Apple Watch owners. The results were interesting, and provide some insights that may help the smartwatch industry as a whole.

Before we get into numbers here, it is worth stating that the people surveyed had already stated dissatisfaction with the Apple Watch. Overall, the satisfaction level with the Apple Watch is very high. 97% according to some surveys. It is also worth noting that the smartwatch field is a very young one, and early adopters should expect less features when living on the “cutting edge” of technology. Further, most early adopters are tech-savvy (75% of the dissatisfied respondents reported that they work in the tech industry). That’s a tough crowd. Nonetheless, some extremely interesting data can be gained from the dissatisfied customers.



Not Enough Value/Too Expensive

Overall, the biggest complaints can be summed up as saying that the watch doesn’t provide enough value for the money. Drilling down into this further reveals some interesting specifics:

  • 80% blamed not enough features.
  • 66% claimed it was too slow.
  • 59% were unhappy with the battery life.
  • 53% of responders reported being annoyed that the time is not always displayed, and that they have to invoke the wrist gesture to get the time to show.

That last point is an important one for the smartwatch industry. Clearly, this web site focuses primarily on Pebble smartwatches, but that’s no coincidence. Many people, like us, find the current crop of smartwatches that don’t have an always-on screen “fiddly” to use, and the sometimes theatrical gestures necessary to simply see the time is a large reason for that. Obviously, this is a due to the current limitations of battery technology, and coupling that with a power-hungry LED touch screen. “Ambient mode” display—which presents a dimmed-down (and dumbed-down) version of the watch face—is a stop-gap measure at best. This is a major reason why Pebble watches remain so popular. Better battery technology will ultimately solve this issue, but we’re not there yet.


What Did They Do With It?

Interestingly, the survey asked the respondents whether they are still regularly wearing their Apple Watch, and what they did with it. 

  • 17% of respondents stated that they stopped wearing it within days.
  • 28% reported that they stopped wearing it within weeks.
  • 55% stopped wearing it after two weeks.

Very few people returned their watch (12% for the Apple Watch, and 17% for the Apple Watch Sport). Most (65% for the Apple Watch, and 50% for the Apple Watch Sport) responded that “it’s in a drawer somewhere”.


Will You Buy Another?

Perhaps the most interesting statistic to come from this—and likely a most encouraging one for Apple—is this: roughly half the dissatisfied respondents reported that they may still buy the next one! I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions about that one.

As usual, comments are welcome below! You can read full details of the survey here.

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