The Apple Watch may be drawing buzz from the watch industry and media outlets, but from teenagers not so much. And that’s despite Apple Inc.’s smartwatch selling out in minutes, once preorders opened on Friday.
With just over a week until shipments of the Apple Watch begin, only 11 percent of teenagers have any intention of purchasing the smartwatch, down from 16 percent in fall 2014, according to a survey conducted by Piper Jaffray. As for what attracts the 11 percent to the Apple Watch, reasons vary.
Style took the top spot with 74 percent of respondents citing it as a factor, followed by design by 72 percent and messaging and notifications with 64 percent. Less than half of those surveyed indicated that the highly touted health tracking app was behind their purchase intent.
“We believe the lower purchase intent reflects a wait and see approach to the Watch as it seems unclear what will be the "killer app" for the Watch,” Gene Munster, Piper Jaffray analyst and noted Apple watcher, wrote in a research note. “We expect teens to be a good market for the Apple Watch given the popularity of the iPhone, but believe it will take time for influencers (celebrities) to make the watch popular among teens.”
When it comes to Apple’s other products, teen interest remains high, especially with its iPhones and iPads. Of the teens surveyed, 66 percent owned an iPhone and 64 percent of those with a tablet owned an iPad. 72 percent expect their next phone to be iPhone and 60 percent expect their next tablet to be an iPad.
It remains to be seen whether or not teen interest will change once the Apple Watch launches on April 24. But until then, Apple has ramped up its marketing efforts through TV spots as well as placing it on celebrities’ wrists, including Pharrell, Drake and Katy Perry.
The results are part of a larger Piper Jaffray study measuring the behaviors and brand preferences from 6,2000 teenagers across the United States with an average age of 16.3.