The fact that the iWatch doesn't exist appears to be barrier to demand for Apple's much rumored smartwatch.
The ChangeWave Research survey, conducted by 451 Research, shows that 5% of US consumers are very likely and 14% claim to be somewhat likely to buy an Apple iWatch either for themselves or someone they know when it launches.
The poll of 1,713 respondents, though not in-depth, mirrors similar surveys that ChangeWave has performed in the run-up to rumored Apple launches and has generated very similar results. In 2010 a ChangeWave poll found that 18% of respondents would buy a then-hypothetical Apple tablet and back in 2005 when the same firm polled people on the likelihood of buying an Apple PC with an Intel chip, 18% signaled that they would.
However, what the survey truly reveals is how loyal Apple users are to the brand and therefore how much the company can rely on sales with each product cycle -- 18% of "likely" iWatch buyers cited their trust in Apple as the main selling point, while 14% stressed the cool factor. Even the 11% of those who expressed interest in buying the smartwatch and stated how it would be able to integrate with other devices as a motivating factor were referring to other Apple devices. Only 16% of those interested respondents claimed to be likely to purchase an iWatch due to the convenience it would offer.
"Apple's track record of delivering ultra-convenient, easy to use products with a perceived ‘cool factor' is driving pre-release demand for the rumored Apple 'iWatch,'" said Andy Golub of 451 Research's ChangeWave service. "While an 'iWatch' doesn't yet exist -- and if it ever does it will have to live up to super high expectations -- it has the potential to be another huge success for the Cupertino, Calif., manufacturer."
However, Apple is not the only company rumored to be developing such a device: similar reports suggest Google and Microsoft are also planning something for consumers' wrists. At the same time, Samsung and LG have both officially confirmed that they are indeed developing smartwatches that could debut before the end of 2013.