Apple’s entry into the smartwatch market will not be enough to take the devices to the mass market, a survey suggests, after years of the gadgets being dismissed as quirky curios with limited appeal to mainstream users.
In a poll of 799 iPhone owners conducted by Piper Jaffray, four per cent of the sample said they would buy an iWatch soon after it went on sale.
The market analysis company calculates that equates to a penetration rate of between 2-4% of iPhone owners.
With the total number of iPhone users across the globe coming in at 293 million, that could spell iWatch sales of between five million and ten million in the first twelve months, Piper Jaffray posits.
That’s small beer compared with typical sales for an Apple smartphone, of course, and suggests that smartwatches remain some way off reaching a tipping point. Even when they come with to market bearing Apple's magic marque.
In a note to investors Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, stated: "While we do not view the watch as a likely needle-mover for Apple in terms of revenue in 2014, we put it in a similar category as the television in that it could demonstrate Apple’s ability to innovate (good for the multiple) and potentially lead to a more meaningful new product category in wearable tech."
The survey was based on the iWatch selling for $350.