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Study: Apple Watch owners hate the device but might still get the next one

tech Updated: Dec 02, 2015 13:44 IST

Market research firm Wristly quizzed Apple Watch ownders on their use of the devices -- and most of them were not happy. (AFP)

Not everyone is impressed with the Apple Watch. According to a new study from Wristly, some early adopters are already questioning its usefulness and its price tag. Yet despite their disappointment, they’re still wearing it and even contemplating buying the next version.

The smartwatch market may still be in its nascent stage but it’s clearly big enough to have spawned Wristly, a market research firm focused on gauging consumer sentiment towards the wristworn smartphone counterparts.

It has been valiantly charting consumers’ relationship with and attitudes towards the Apple Watch since it went on sale in March as a means of providing an ‘independent voice’ among the tech journalists and tech companies that are hyping smartwatches.

In September it conducted a poll of 2000 Apple Watch owners and found that although wearers most commonly used the device for monitoring activity and, perhaps unsurprisingly, telling the time, that there was a 97% satisfaction rate among early adopters after three months’ use.

However, a new study, focused purely on those owners who are not satisfied -- a sample of 330 -- published this week, finds that within two weeks of use, 28% of wearers had given up on the device altogether. Yet despite this disappointment, only 12% of Apple Watch and 7% of Apple Watch Sport owners had returned the device to Apple for a refund.

A handful of respondents had sold the Watch on or given it to a friend or family member but the majority had relegated it to a drawer. A surprising decision considering the premium price tag: the cheapest Apple Watch Sport is $349.00 and the cheapest Apple Watch is $549.00.

When asked why the watch had proved so underwhelming, 80% were disappointed in its apparent lack of features, 66% pointed to its lack of processor speed and 59% cited the poor battery life.

Over half (53%) were annoyed that unlike a normal watch, the Apple Watch needed to be raised from slumber to display the time. However, when all complaints were added and averaged out, “not enough value” was the biggest single gripe.

Yet, 30% of dissatisfied owners said that they still wear their Apple Watch occasionally and a remarkable 31% admitted they’d be likely and 10% very likely to buy the next-generation model when it launches.