Do You Hate the Apple Watch?

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The Apple Watch and Wearables – It’s A Love/Hate Thing
Written by Jim Desposito

Whenever Apple comes out with a brand new device it’s likely that all the Apple fanboys will jump on the bandwagon and all the Apple haters will try to derail that bandwagon in any way they can. Those two facts alone explain much of the reaction to any new Apple product, and especially when Apple comes out with something that everyone expects will take over an existing category.

Does the Apple Watch follow the same pattern? Let’s see. The percentage of users who are “very unsatisfied” with the Apple Watch is about 6%, according to a research report released today by 451 Research. That seems to us to be surprisingly high and, quite frankly, a bit unbelievable.

The first question that occurs to us is, what is the source of this dissatisfaction? A major reason for all the unhappy Apple Watch users out there is the disappointing battery life. Not a shock.

A full 12% of owners report that they are either “somewhat unsatisfied” or “very unsatisfied” with their purchase. At first blush you might chalk it off to “buyers remorse”. Afterall, the price of the Apple Watch is pretty high and once you come down from the high you were on when you decided to buy it, you might feel regret about plunking down anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars on it.

But no, while that may be an underlying factor, it seems that specific areas of functionality, or lack thereof, are more the cause.

The single biggest gripe that Apple Watch users have is about the paltry battery life it provides. I mean, c’mon! It’s a watch for pete’s sake. Shouldn’t I be able to wear it and use it for at least 24 hours before it needs a recharge? Other negative factors include lack of full waterproofing and price.

On the positive side about 87% of users were either “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” and simply love the way they can so easily see their notifications and health/fitness tracking data.

Of course smart watches are just one slice of the “wearables” market. Up to now devices dedicated to activity tracking and health-related monitoring in general have been much bigger sellers than all smartwatches combined.

That can certainly change and you can bet that over the next few years there will be an explosive growth across the wearables market overall, driven largely by more and more vendors getting into the fray. They’ll be coming with a wide variety of devices, special features, targeted use-cases, and most of all, price points.

If that’s what you see coming, you’re not alone. At least according to Ramon Llamas, research manager for wearables at IDC.

“We are at a stage now where more vendors are getting into this segment, setting the stage for more selection and ultimately more volumes,” he said. “Potential buyers wary of what is currently available will most likely be more interested once the second- and third-generation devices come to market with improved hardware and applications.”

IDC predicts that wearable device shipments in 2015 will exceed 70 million. That’s pretty impressive since it represents a 164 percent increase from 2014’s shipments of 29 million units. And it won’t stop anytime soon. Over the next five years expect this market to grow substantially to over 173 million units yielding a five-year compound annual growth rate of almost 23 percent.

While there will, of course, be many players in the Android compatible market, the iDevice compatible market will see tremendous variety and choices for users as well. Apple will likely dominate the Apple ecosystem, as it always does, but they won’t be the only game in town.

What about you? Are you wearing a “wearable” or a smartwatch? If so we’d love to hear from you. Clue us in to what you think using the comment section below.


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