The Apple Watch remains a niche market, but could expand with its existing users acting as evangelists. Photo: Bloomberg
As the Apple Watch enters the critical holiday sales season, its biggest boosters may be people already sporting it.
Apple appears to be benefiting from its loyal fan base as it rolls out its first new device since the iPad, with a Reuters / Ipsos poll showing 62 per cent of US adults who already have an Apple Watch plan to give the gadget as a gift.
Holiday sales of the product will be scrutinised as a barometer of how much promise it holds for the company.
Apple has not provided any sales figures of the watch, whose price starts at $499.
The company has touted the watch’s fitness-tracking and communication features, but none of the functions — which also include playing games and telling time — were mentioned by more than 50 per cent of owners asked about their main uses for the watch.
“It suggests users are not really clear on what (the watch) is for and what it’s supposed to do,” TECHnalysis Research analyst O’Donnell said.
Nevertheless, the poll showed high engagement, with 63 per cent of owners wearing the watch daily. The poll also showed 91 per cent of owners used it as much as or more than when they purchased it, while only 5 per cent had given up.
Those are impressive statistics for wearables, which users often abandon, said Carolina Milanesi, head of US business at consumer research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
“There’s a lot of people that fall out of love after the honeymoon period,” she said.
That has not been a problem for website developer Jason Jennings, 38, who said he had been wearing his Apple Watch every day, using it to listen to music and play games.
Fellow owner Joe Aniceto, 29, has been recommending the watch to his friends and plans to give one or two over the holidays. The management consultant said he would dole out more if not for the steep price.
“It’s definitely not a stocking stuffer,” he said. “That’s for sure.”