Just 11 percent of respondees to a survey about new Apple products plan to buy an Apple Watch, according to 6,000 people quizzed by Canadian investment bank, RBC Capital Markets.
A further 24 percent said they were uncertain. Given that Apple Watch is Apple’s first major new product category since the iPad this is bad news if it carries through to the tech-buying customer base at large.
While it’s far from good for Apple, however, it’s also not entirely unsurprising. The smart watch/wearables industry has remained relatively niche up until now, with other rival products like the Samsung Galaxy Gear proving to be flops in the market place.
As impressive as the Apple Watch looked when Tim Cook demoed it on September 9, Apple still has yet to provide compelling reasons why customers would want a smart watch, particularly with reported high price points, low battery life, and a significant crossover with iPhone functionality.
A recent report suggested that Apple is aiming to sell 50 million of the Apple Watch in 2015, which if accurate would make it the top-selling iOS family device in history, with significantly higher sales than both the iPhone and iPad in their first years.
RBC Capital Markets’ survey also suggested that just 16 percent of survey participants intend on using Apple Pay when it becomes available, while 47 percent report “mixed feelings” about it. As with the Apple Watch, NFC payments are not a new area, and other companies including Google have been exploring it with limited success for several years now.
Although both of these technologies could certainly benefit from the so-called “halo effect” that comes with Apple products, would-be customers are understandably cautious about product categories that have proven unsuccessful so far. It’s worth pointing out, of course, that very few of Apple’s breakthrough hits: the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad have proven to be overnight success stories
The survey wasn’t all disappointing news, though. It reported very strong demand for the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, both of which officially launch today. 27 percent of survey respondees were Android users, planning to make the jump to Apple’s ecosystem with the company’s new handsets.