Apple Watch Leads Customer Preferences in The USA

  • More than two out of five people chose Apple as the most preferred smartwatch brand for their next purchase in the USA followed by Samsung and Fitbit.
  • Two in every three potential Apple Watch buyers said they will choose a Series 4 device.
  • More than half of the potential Apple Watch buyers are interested in buying an LTE version.

New Delhi, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, Beijing, San Diego, Buenos Aires –

Oct 31th 2018

Counterpoint Research has launched Consumer Lens, a global research program that aims to help the industry better understand the consumer’s perspective across different markets, channels, and product categories.

The latest Consumer Lens study focuses on USA smartwatch consumers. The analysis uncovers the factors influencing smartwatch purchasing decisions with a  key understanding of consumer interest in Apple Watch features. The report further dives into demographic breakouts including age, income, and occupation to better understand potential smartwatch customers.

Commenting on the research findings, Maurice Klaehne, Research Analyst, highlighted, “Apple was the top smartwatch brand last year. With the Apple Watch Series 4 the company further enriches its position as a preferred smartwatch brand for a consumer’s next purchase. Samsung was the second most preferred smartwatch brand followed by Fitbit. According to our findings, responses by consumers who are interested in buying an Apple Watch in the next six months are overwhelmingly positive towards buying the latest iteration of the Apple Watch. Two out of every three potential Apple Watch buyers said they will choose a Series 4. However, consumers are not very decisive on the color preference so far.”

Exhibit 1: The Most Preferred Smartwatch Brand For Consumers Next Purchase

The Most Preferred Smartwatch Brand For Consumers Next Purchase

Source: Counterpoint Research – Consumer Lens

In 2017, Apple was facing competition from its older devices, as consumers were still buying Apple Watch Series 1 globally. This scenario is likely softening with tighter control on the supply chain along with a mixed portfolio of feature-rich Watch Series 4.

Commenting on the consumer interest for Apple Watch Series 4 features, Pavel Naiya, Senior Analyst said, “Apple Watch Series 4 was a significant improvement from the previous generation with innovative features like ECG, fall monitor and haptic feedback. LTE connectivity captured the highest consumer interest followed by the faster S4 chipset and improved heart rate sensor. With LTE connectivity and improved specs for better performance, the Apple Watch Series 4 further distances itself from the iPhone to become a standalone wearable device. As a result, more than half of the potential Apple watch buyers are interested in buying an LTE version.”

Mr. Naiya further added, “According to the findings, Apple has successfully established itself as a fashion brand; six out of ten respondents cited design as a key reason for choosing Apple Watch.”

Exhibit 2: Consumer Interest in Apple Watch Series 4 Features

Consumer Interest in Apple Watch Series 4 Features

Source: Counterpoint Research – Consumer Lens

Commenting on the preferred channels for purchase, Jeff Fieldhack, Research Director said, “The Apple Store is the preferred channel for intended Apple Watch purchases. This is likely driven by iPhone power users opting for the familiar Apple Store, while Amazon was slightly behind followed by Best Buy. However, we believe actual purchases will likely vary due to many factors including existing offers, availability of variants and customers convenience. Target, Walmart and operator stores captured positions four through six respectively.”

Exhibit 3: Preferred Channels for Apple Watch purchase

Preferred Channels for Apple Watch purchase

Source: Counterpoint Research – Consumer Lens

Other Takeaways:

  • The top three brands (Apple, Samsung, Fitbit) captured 80% of the potential consumer interest as the preferred brands for a consumer’s next purchase. LG, Garmin, and Fossil had single-digit percentage share of interest.
  • Apple Watch is pitching itself as a health monitoring device with emergency life-saving features to position itself as a necessary wearable device for all. However, the high price is the main barrier for consumer adoption.
  • The requirement to own an iPhone is another large barrier for non-iPhone users to not buy an Apple Watch.
  • Health and fitness tracking and quick access to notification are the two main use cases for smartwatches as of now. However, other use cases like listening to music and the ability to leave your phone behind are pushing smartwatches towards becoming a standalone devices category.

Methodology:

The survey was conducted through an online platform with a completed sample of ~400 to identify potential smartwatch buyers. The primary smartwatch survey was undertaken to understand consumer interest in purchasing the Apple Watch and analyze smartwatch usage patterns in the US market. A sample was selected using a multi-stage sampling method. The complete report and analysis can be found on our Insights Portal. The comprehensive and in-depth analysis is available for clients subscribing to the Consumer Lens Program. Please feel free to contact us at [email protected] for further questions regarding our latest in-depth research, insights or press enquiries.

Analyst Contacts:

Pavel Naiya
+91 9818507702
[email protected]

Maurice Klaehne
+1 617 336 8383
[email protected]

Jeff Fieldhack
+1 858 603 2703
[email protected]

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