GfK: 57pc delaying smartwatch buy to wait for Apple Watch

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Survey of 1,000 people reveals strong awareness for manufacturer’s first wearable, with more than half admitting to delaying a smartwatch purchase for Apple’s product 

A survey by market research firm GfK has found 57 per cent of people are delaying a smartwatch purchase in order to wait for Apple’s debut device.

This is according to a nationally representative sample of 1,000 people it interviewed online from April 2-10. The Apple Watch went on sale in the UK today as well as in eight further countries.

GfK said this was borne out in the sales figures that saw smartwatch volumes fall 21 per cent year-on-year in Q1 2015.

Awareness around today’s launch of the Apple Watch is strong, with 46 per cent aware it was happening.

Overall, 19 per cent are “extremely” or “very interested” in the launch, while a fifth are “fairly interested”. One in ten people (12 per cent) plan to buy a smartwatch this year.

Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of those interested in the launch are prepared to spend up to £299 for the entry level Watch Sport; 17 per cent are prepared to spend between £300-399 and 10 per cent prepared to pay £400 or more – closer to the £479 cost of the standard Watch.

GfK joint head of technology Anne Giulianotti said: “Apple is a much loved and admired brand – so it’s no wonder that many potential smartwatch buyers have been delaying their decision on what to buy until the launch of its device.

“In Q1 2015, smartwatches made up seven per cent of the wearable tech category. With the launch of Apple’s watch in a few days, we expect that figure to rise as people see what one of the world’s favourite tech brands has to offer.

“Looking at these figures, it would appear that people who are interested in the launch of the Apple smartwatch don’t expect it to be priced as highly as it is. However, as we’ve seen before with the appeal of Apple’s products and the might of the company’s marketing, we would expect the brand to convince people to invest that sum in the wearable device.”

“Apple is a master at creating desirable new personal tech devices – not to mention entire categories – but gaining mass appeal for the smartwatch may be the greatest challenge yet. The high price point and lack of clarity around smartwatch benefits generally mean that this wearable technology will have to provide an outstanding experience if its sales performance is to come close to that of the iPad or iPhone.”

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