Why would Apple introduce a sexy new smartwatch in an age when we're seeing fewer and fewer people actually wearing watches -- especially younger people?
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says teen reception of the Apple Watch is "tepid" — lukewarm, without enthusiasm. According to a Piper Jaffray survey of 7,200 teenagers, only 7 percent already own some sort of smartwatch, and a scant 16 percent are actually interested in buying Apple's take on a watch. However, the survey also found that Apple is the most popular consumer electronics brand among teens — they love their iPhones (67 percent of them have one), and 73 percent of those without one say the iPhone will be their next device.
It's long been known that teenagers are a vitally important demographic who exert massive influence over the market, whether they realize it or not. If a company can win over teens, they can drive longer-term success.
"The concept of wearing a watch for teenagers is foreign — and I think that’s part of what is reflected in that response," Munster told Recode. "The second piece is, it’s still something that people need to hear more about, beyond what Apple has to say about it, before people get interested in it." Part of the survey was conducted during a time before any details of Apple's watch were made public, so there's a chance that some of these numbers were fueled by what was, at the time, speculation.
Data from 2011 showed that 58.7 percent of 16-34-year-olds use a phone as their primary time-telling device. Heck, 8.1 percent of people who are wearing a watch still check their phones as their primary means of telling time.
“The teens are taking a wait-and-see approach to it,” Munster said.