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Apple Watch clocks 6% purchase intent

News, 17 April 2015

NEW YORK: Around 6% of US adults have indicated their intention to buy an Apple Watch, with almost 1m having pre-ordered the device since that became possible a week ago.

Ipsos polled 1,829 US adults online from April 8–14 about the latest addition to Apple's portfolio, and found that men were twice as likely as women to express a clear interest in buying one (9% v 4%).

Reuters noted that these figures equated to possible US sales of 15m in the first year, while analysts' estimates have ranged between 10m and 32m globally.

The highest interest in the Ipsos panel was among men aged 18–29-years-old (34%), and the same group gave the watch the highest "cool factor" at 53%, compared to an average of 42%.

But the most likely buyers were 30–39-year-olds, some 13% of whom said they planned to buy an Apple Watch, compared to 10% of the younger group.

And while iPhone owners were the most likely buyers – 15% of this group intended to buy one – some 8% of non-owners said they would consider switching to an iPhone in order to purchase an Apple Watch.

Van Baker, an analyst at tech research firm Gartner, said it was likely that many potential buyers would wait until the second version of the watch appeared.

"We may see a high level of interest. Apple will sell a few million fairly quickly, but then things might flatten out a little," he said.

Separately, Simon Farthing, head of consultancy at Profusion, the data science consulting firm, cautioned that the combination of wearable tech and data science raised a host of ethical and strategic issues.

Writing in Marketing, he posited a scenario in which marketers could work out, via raised stress levels, poor sleep and a combination of other behaviour, that a couple's relationship was in trouble, and then target them with divorce, reconciliation and dating services.

"Highly targeted ads that leverage very personal information from wearable devices will be one of the marketing industry's biggest ethical challenges and opportunity over the next few years," he said.

Data sourced from Reuters, Marketing; additional content by Warc staff