Study: Dissatisfied Apple Watch owners cite lack of features, but half will buy next-gen model

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited December 2015
A recent study conducted by smartwatch market research firm Wristly found an overall lack of performance the common thread between unsatisfied Apple Watch owners, though roughly half of respondents said they would consider buying a second-generation model.




Wristly, which in a recent study found Apple Watch to have a 97 percent satisfaction rate among owners, polled more than 330 users who were ultimately dissatisfied with their purchase to find a general lack of value was by far the most cited reason buyers parted ways with Apple Watch. Some 89 percent of respondents said the device was a poor cost/benefit proposition.

More telling, however, are the 80 percent who found Watch's feature set limited. When Apple Watch first launched some derided the device for its lack of onboard GPS and cellular radios, a heavy reliance on data tethering and opaque GUI controls. Apple addressed certain issues, like native app support and third-party watch face complications, with the release of watchOS 2 in September.

The study also found a good portion of owners unsatisfied with Watch's performance and poor battery life, though it is unclear whether customers were referring to unresponsive non-native watchOS apps or sluggish hardware.

Interestingly, 53 percent of respondents found Apple Watch's tilt-to-activate screen function "annoying." Employed as a power saving feature, Apple Watch's display remains off unless triggered by a raise of the wrist, a screen tap or button press. While Apple's raise-to-wake mechanism is responsive in comparison to other smartwatches, it's nowhere near as convenient as a traditional timepiece.

According to the study, a majority of disappointed Apple Watch owners ended up keeping the device. For unknown reasons -- perhaps a higher price of entry -- owners of the stainless steel version were reluctant to part with the device, with 65 percent saying they stuffed their unit in a drawer. Some 12 percent returned their stainless steel model to Apple, while 18 percent sold it and 5 percent gave it to a family member. The numbers compare to unsatisfied Apple Watch Sport buyers, 50 percent of whom stashed their device in a drawer, 17 percent returned it, 24 percent sold their copy and 9 percent gave it away.

Going further, Wristly was able to get 70 percent of the original sample pool to answer a series of follow-up questions pertaining to ongoing use. Of note, 30 percent of this smaller batch of owners still wear Apple Watch despite voicing dissatisfaction. Perhaps most surprising among the statistics was roughly half of respondents planned to buy a next-generation model.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 101
    Name another product with 97% satisfaction rating.

    This article is about -- at most -- the 3% that weren't satisfied. Who cares.
  • Reply 2 of 101
    I stopped wearing mine too...
  • Reply 3 of 101
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,399moderator
    So they polled 11,000 people, found 97% (10,670) were satisfied, then made a big deal out of the 3% who weren't? Did I read that correctly?
  • Reply 4 of 101
    I used to buy myself one new watch every year (Fossils were my favorite) until Apple released the watch because I like new things from time to time. Then I contributed to the overall decline of Swiss watch exports because I got an Apple Watch. It works great for me. Between Apple Pay (which I use constantly wherever I can, and I shop predominantly at places that take Apple Pay), the activity tracker, the heart rate monitor (I have a condition for which keeping an eye on bpms helps), and the notifications (that I don't have to carry my phone around everywhere I go in the house or at work for me to get texts and such), I think that's the best $400 I ever spent. It also has a great battery life (more than a day with usually 35-50% come bed time, but I always charge at night). I'm not too happy about the design of the bracelets, they get dirty ugly, so I have to buy new ones like once a year. Still, works for me. Instead of spending a few hundred each year on a dumb watch that only tells the time and just looks different than the one I had last year, I'm better off with $400 once every few years. I am not looking to upgrade to second gen Apple Watch. Maybe third or fourth. I will hang on to this thing for a long time.
  • Reply 5 of 101
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,552member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Krawall View Post



    I stopped wearing mine too...



    Which means you’re in the insignificant minority, an outlier not worthy of consideration. How does it feel to have your opinion not make any difference as 97% don’t agree?

  • Reply 5 of 101
    This watch does 5 things for me: Tells the time and the date. Controls my music in the car. Prevents me from pulling my phone out of my pocket for text messages and emails (40 times a day). Tells me my next Appointment on my Calendars. And runs my Things grocery list (which is the BEST feature).

    THAT'S ALL IT DOES - And I love it SO DAMN much. Because I hate cell phone usage.

    But I don't want it to do anything else, could care less 100%. I mean I have an alarm app installed but I don't use it, it's just who cares.

    All a watch used to do is tell the time and the date, and click the stopwatch...

    I am happy, some people want it to replace there laptop computer and cell phone and their life = GET A LIFE...
  • Reply 7 of 101
    it's too slow. why would i ever use Siri or third party apps on the Apple Watch? 90% of the time it's stuck in a loading animation.
  • Reply 8 of 101
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,552member

    Seriously, could someone from the AI editorial staff explain what this article is and why it was posted? Because a 3% dissatisfaction rate seems insignificant for electronic devices and much less than the norm. I would guess that something like 10-20% is the norm because that’s about how many chronic complainers and malcontents inhabit tech forums. They are dissatisfied with everything. See ATV4 discussions.

     

    Are we readers supposed to react in horror and start clamoring for Apple to do something, anything, to prevent the epic fail? 

  • Reply 9 of 101
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by movingincircles View Post



    it's too slow. why would i ever use Siri or third party apps on the Apple Watch? 90% of the time it's stuck in a loading animation.



    Yeah, but my god, I wasted over 4 years of my life looking at the progress bar and file copy progress for 8 years, from 1992-2000, while using my macs and windows pc, I can live with an extra 15-30 seconds when the pressure gets applied for this little bad boy, to fire up my Things App.

  • Reply 10 of 101
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rezwits View Post

     



    Yeah, but my god, I wasted over 4 years of my life looking at the progress bar and file copy progress for 8 years, from 1992-2000, while using my macs and windows pc, I can live with an extra 15-30 seconds when the pressure gets applied for this little bad boy, to fire up my Things App.




    there are times where i would launch the app on my watch, then literally get up from my couch, go into my room to grab my iphone, go back to my couch to lie down, launch the app on my iphone and still be done before the apple watch finishes. and no, my room is literally 20 feet away from the couch, so it's not out of range.

     

    hell, this even happens when i'm in bed, and i need to get up to grab my phone on the table.

  • Reply 11 of 101

    Well that's true, in secret it's another reason, I only do the 5 things listed, and don't really install any apps.  But I don't know of any apps off the top of my head I want to "play."  I can use this just fine till the S2 or S3 chip...

  • Reply 12 of 101
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post



    So they polled 11,000 people, found 97% (10,670) were satisfied, then made a big deal out of the 3% who weren't? Did I read that correctly?

    No. You didn't read it correctly. They didn't make a big deal about it.

     

    People such as yourself are unable to read anything that has even the slightest resemblance to criticism of Apple or one of its products without reading something into it that just simply isn't there.

     

    Since the vast majority of people are happy with the watch, they were curious (as I am sure other people are as well) what the ones that didn't like the watch found to be the biggest problems with the device. It is as simple as that.

     

    -kpluck

  • Reply 13 of 101
    What a stupid article
  • Reply 14 of 101
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kpluck View Post

     

    Fanboys such as yourself -HAHA

     

    -kpluck


     

    Bengals, Broncos, Dolphins - Apple, Sony, Logitech, Crucial, GMC, Nike - Mcdonalds, Pepsi and Oscar Mayer == GO TEAM! :D haha

  • Reply 15 of 101
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kpluck View Post

     

    No. You didn't read it correctly. They didn't make a big deal about it.

     

    People such as yourself are unable to read anything that has even the slightest resemblance to criticism of Apple or one of its products without reading something into it that just simply isn't there.

     

    Since the vast majority of people are happy with the watch, they were curious (as I am sure other people are as well) what the ones that didn't like the watch found to be the biggest problems with the device. It is as simple as that.

     

    -kpluck


     

    He was not wrong in that anyone casually glancing at the article gets the mistaken impression that there is significant dissatisfaction with the device.  Its a completely fair and appropriate question to ask if his assessment was correct.

  • Reply 16 of 101
    It's amazing. A beautifully designed innovative watch that puts all that came before it to shame and still we have people saying it doesn't do enough.
  • Reply 17 of 101
    bluefire1 wrote: »
    It's amazing. A beautifully designed innovative watch that puts all that came before it to shame and still we have people saying it doesn't do enough.

    So true, I mean I can understand the desire to have it do FaceTime calls, but even the iPhone when it first came out didn't have that till iPhone 4!
  • Reply 18 of 101
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,399moderator
    it's too slow. why would i ever use Siri or third party apps on the Apple Watch? 90% of the time it's stuck in a loading animation.

    I think I sold an Apple Watch one day at the local farmer's market. Standing in line behind me was a guy with two little kids. He spotted my Watch and asked, "is that the Apple Watch?" I affirmed it was, and he asked how I like it. I saw that one of his kids was wearing a Miami Dolphins jersey, so I raised the watch, said 'hey Siri, what's the Dolphins schedule?' And then showed him how the Digital Crown scrolls through the list of upcoming games. He was all smiles. Pretty sure he made a trip to the local Apple Store not long after.
  • Reply 19 of 101
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,399moderator
    kpluck wrote: »
    No. You didn't read it correctly. They didn't make a big deal about it.

    People such as yourself are unable to read anything that has even the slightest resemblance to criticism of Apple or one of its products without reading something into it that just simply isn't there.

    Since the vast majority of people are happy with the watch, they were curious (as I am sure other people are as well) what the ones that didn't like the watch found to be the biggest problems with the device. It is as simple as that.

    -kpluck

    I characterized it EXACTLY as it was presented. They focused only on the small minority and why those few didn't like the Watch, as though any reason they might give would have any statistical significance, which it would not. Without that, Apple cannot use that information to make the watch a better product or experience. Not as much as delving into the reasons the other 97% actually like the watch and how they use it. That data would be far more relevant to a designer, engineer, or marketer in terms of enhancing the experience. So you see, by giving that much focus to that small a segment of users, they have, defacto, made it a big deal, where it is not.
  • Reply 20 of 101
    Design is one major area the survey fails to address. I find the chicklet design chunky, ungainly, and ugly; downright geeky, in fact. I'm impressed with the design of the band, however, which is a beginning. I suggest Jonny Ive forget v.1 and go back to the drawing boards if Apple wants to sell me a watch.
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