This week the folks at GfK have produced a study which suggests potential Apple Watch buyers don’t expect to pay a lot to wear. This study included a nationally representative sample of 1000 people online from the 2nd to the 10th of April 2015 inside the UK. This study suggests that consumer expectations for the cost of the Apple Watch are actually lower than the actual price of the device in Apple Stores – closest, as it were, to the Apple Watch Sport, the least expensive of the Apple Watch launch lineup.
This study suggests that 73% of people “interested in the launch of the Apple Watch” say they’ll be “prepared to spend up to £299.” [$447] That’s the price of the smaller of the two Apple Watch Sport models. That’s just the people that are interested in buying the watch.
A much smaller percentage (17%) of the same set of people that suggest they’re prepared to purchase the Apple Watch at a price between £300-£399. [$447-$596] One out of every 10 of the people in this study that say they’re interested in purchasing the Apple Watch also say they’re “prepared to pay £400 or more.” [$596]
We spoke further with GfK’s Anne Giulianotti who appears to largely agree with out recent column on the skeptic’s flaw in the Apple Watch plan.
Giulianotti, Joint Head of Technology at GfK, responded to our questions thusly:
What does Apple (or any other smartwatch brand) need to do to get consumers to expect to pay more (and be willing to pay more) for a smartwatch?
“Offer unique benefits over and above what they get from their other devices – enabling consumers to do something that they couldn’t otherwise do (or couldn’t do easily),” said Giulianotti.
“These benefits must have broad appeal – too niche and the product will be relegated to gadget status.”
“[They must also have a] seamless user experience – set up and use must be absolutely straightforward – any difficulties with usage will mean the device is likely to be rejected in the longer term and won’t break through to a broad market.”
“The benefits must be good enough for purchasers to push the hype that Apple have started – and talk about/go on social media with their positive experiences.”
How do you see this Apple Watch launch differentiating itself from launches of devices like the iPhone and the iPad?
“All three devices are attempting to drive a relatively new category forward,” said Giulianotti. “We know what the benefits are, but do they have wide enough appeal to appeal to the mass market?”
“The watch must offer a new and appealing experience that people want to talk about.”
“If it is just a portable communication device with the same functionality as a phone but a smaller screen, then there will be no reason to buy it.”
The Apple Watch launches in Apple Stores this Friday, the 24th of April, 2015.