Is the Apple Watch a flop? Not as far as Fluent research can see

(c) Kurtbas

8% of American adults say they own an Apple Watch, according to research by ad tech provider Fluent.

The results of the survey, which polled 2,500 respondents, exceeded the expectations set after its first Apple Watch study in April 2015. In the 2015 survey, Fluent found that 5% of Americans planned to buy the first version of the Apple Watch, amounting to around 12.5 million people.

A year later, the figures show that 8% of Americans now own an Apple Watch. With the 2% margin of error of the survey, the number comes to 6%, which the researchers argue is close to the average estimate of around 12mn units shipped in total. The actual sales figures remain undisclosed by Apple, which is known to be guarded about its sales volume.

"The Apple Watch isn't perfect, and may not have lived up to the incredible amount of media hype surrounding it when it first was brought to market, but the consumer adoption is there, and opportunity abounds for the future of the wearables category," Jordan Cohen, chief marketing officer at Fluent wrote.

The survey also looked at how Apple Watch owners use the device and what the respondents think about it, a year after it was launched. Apart from the finding that one in 20 people use and wear the Apple Watch the report also found that around 80% of owners use their devices for notifications and fitness tracking. Also, 75% of owners use their smartwatches for listening to music, 61% for Apple Pay and 66% for chatting and email.

Just 11% of owners said that fashion was their main reason for purchasing an Apple Watch. The biggest reason was convenience, selected by 46% owners, and features (31%). This supports the 2015 report by Fluent, which suggested that the Apple Watch is not targeting the more fashion-focused watch market, but is instead attempting to pioneer a then-new wearable devices market.

The opportunity for Apple Pay is significant, according to the survey. Shopping was the second choice for primary use of the Apple Watch, behind fitness tracking. Among owners, 61% said that they made a purchase with their watch, indicating that there is significant room for growth while still being a healthy user percentage.

The 2016 survey found that 47% Americans consider the Apple Watch to be successful, and 62% of regular Apple product users and 77% of Apple Watch users consider it to be a success. Exactly 50% believe that most of them will own smartwatches in the next ten years, and 75% of Apple Watch owners believe so too. This highlights significant scope for success for the Apple Watch and for wearable devices in general.
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