The AVC Apple Watch Survey Results

I’ve gotten a lot of requests to share the results of the Apple Watch Survey I ran yesterday. I haven’t had time to do a lot of analysis on the results which I will do and follow up with another post. But here are some quick stats. These numbers are for the AVC readership. I did not tweet the survey out and it didn’t get shared much so I feel that it really is representative of the AVC community and not the broader Internet universe. There have been 1,827 replies so far.

Likely to Buy – 26%
Might Buy – 22%
Unlikely to Buy – 52%

These numbers were very consistent by operating system (iOS, Android, other), geography, sex, and age.

There were a few differences to note though; The youngest cohort (24 and under) was 7% less likely to buy 19% vs 26%. That was the only cohort where that was the case.

iOS users did not differ from Android users except that they had a much higher propensity to preorder vs waiting for it to arrive in the store.

We could read these numbers many ways. We could say if Apple sells watches to 26% of iPhone users they will have a huge hit on their hands. But I don’t think we can extrapolate from the AVC community to the broader market. This is a geeky early adopted crowd.

We could note that there are almost as many people in the maybe category as the yes category. Apple has a huge opportunity to convince people over time to get a watch. I think how the maybe crowd breaks over the next year will be the single most important thing to watch in the watch category (pun intended).

Finally its quite interesting to note the relative apathy among the youngsters. We also saw them making fun of the watch in the comments. I see the same thing with my kids and their friends who are in the 18-24 crowd. It makes me wonder if the youth culture is mystified when it comes to watches or weather this is just a money thing. Maybe they see the price tag differently than older people with more disposable income.

In any case, its clear that Apple is going to sell a lot of version 1.0 watches. There is real interest and demand out there. Whether we will all be wearing them in six months is another question. We will ask that as year end approaches.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Paul Russell

    The thing that fascinates me about this is that the watch requires an iPhone to work, so I’m not sure what it means to say that propensity to buy amoung android users is the same as iPhone users? Does that mean a lot of people planning to switch phones also? Or a lot of people who aren’t aware that an iPhone is required?

    1. Guesty McGuesterson

      I’m an Android user but only reluctantly. I was pushed there by great deals offered by MVNOs (Republic Wireless and Ting before that) when I decided never again on contract lock-in.Since I made that jump, T-Mobile has made a decent argument for returning to iPhone, with their no-contract offerings. So far it hasn’t been quite enough but part of going no-contract means that every new product offering is an opportunity to reevaluate.An Android user like me wouldn’t buy the Apple Watch when it comes out, but now that both Apple Watch and Android Wear are a thing, the watch story is a factor in deciding when the next phone upgrade will be, and what kind of phone it will be.Just as I’ve sworn off phone contracts though, I’m also not thrilled about a watch that is tied to a particular family of phones. But my options seem to be pretty thin if I stick to my guns on that right now.Maybe the cohort I’m describing can be called the “disloyals”.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Pebble Time – works on many mobile OSes

  2. David Semeria

    penultimate paragraph: weather -> whether

    1. Guest

      Thanks for this, I tried to use penultimate in English as I am more used to it from Spanish and everyone looks at me funny so I tend to settled for “second to last” πŸ™‚

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      “penultimate”Isn’t that the gold pen/stylus Apple will sell as an accessory to its “Apple Watch Edition”

  3. Salt Shaker

    Fred, can you pls show the results by operating system? Intuitively, no discernible skew on purchase intent by OS doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. iPhone users are predisposed to Apple’s ecosystem and have already made the necessary investment in an iPhone, a prerequisite for using the watch. They’re already drinking the Kool-aid. Converting Android users requires a behavioral change and a far more sizable investment.

    1. fredwilson

      here are two slices, the first for everyone, the second for iOS users only

      1. fredwilson

        i focused mostly on the “I don’t think I will buy one” in which iOS and everyone else are identical. there are some differences between iOS users and Android users on the other responses which are probably worth digging into in a future post

        1. obarthelemy

          You got 1381 answer from iOS users, and 1831-1381 = 450 answers from non-iOS users.looking at the “I might” answers, you got 346 out of 1381 from the iOS crowd, so 25%.that leaves 393-346=47 out of 450 = 10% for the non-iOS crowd.for “in store”, thats 9% iOS and 9/450=0% non-iOSand “already pre-ordered” = 20% iOS and 18/450= 0% non-iOSfinally “will preorder” = 3% iOS and 0% non-iOSTotal have+will+might: 785/1381 = 59% iOS, (846-785) / 450 = 14% non-iOS (all “might”).There’s a HUGE difference between iOS users and non-iOS users. 75% of the people motivated enough to answer were iOS users, so they completely overshadow the remaining 25%’s mostly uninterested stance. Once you isolate that 25%, the conclusion is clear: they are a lot less interested, and when interested still at the “might” stage, not at “have/will”. And that’s after the mighty self-selection effects of reading this blog, and choosing to answer, which skews to extremes, probably more to the positive extreme.

          1. Salt Shaker

            You’ve got to re-run the data w/ different bases (iOS vs. non-iOS). You can’t extrapolate from Fred’s two charts the results you outline above, although I agree you’d nonetheless likely see a significant difference.

          2. obarthelemy

            That’s exactly what I did ? You’ve got “total” and “iOS only”. Take out “iOS only”, what remains is “non-iOS”.

          3. Salt Shaker

            Not really. You’re using one data set to try and define another. You’ve got to look at the 1381 sample (iOS users) independent of the 450 sample (non-iOS), as if they’re two separate questionnaires. Re-running Chart #1 excluding iOS users would do it.

          4. obarthelemy

            again, that’s what I did.

          5. Salt Shaker

            Look at the 2 charts as if they’re 2 completely different silos. One is n=1381, the other n=1831. Yes, the difference is 450, but you can’t combine or extrapolate results (at least in this instance) in the manner in which you’ve done, although, once again, I do think your conclusions are likely directionally correct.

          6. obarthelemy

            let’s do the first line very slowly:out of the TOTAL 1831, 630 “don’t think”.out of the iOS 1381, 467 “don’t think”subtract iOS from TOTAL: non-iOS is 450 (=1831-1381), of which 163 (=630-467) “don’t think”.that’s 467/1381= 33% “don’t think” on iOS, and 163/450 =36% on non-iOS(*).how is that invalid ?(*) that’s a small difference for “don’t think”. The huge difference is in “definitely won’t”: 129/1381 = 9% on iOS, (337-129)/450 = 46% on non-iOS. For non-iOS, don’t think + won’t = 36%+46% = 82%

          7. Salt Shaker

            I stand corrected.

      2. Salt Shaker

        If I’m reading your charts correctly 75% of all survey respondents (1381/1831) are “iOS users only”, which presumably would tip overall survey results considerably in the watch’s favor. A MR purist would say your panel should initially be pre-screened/balanced to match each OS’s market share, but the data nonetheless is still pretty interesting. (Chart #1 excluding iOS would also be an interesting cut.)

  4. Barry Nolan

    The best advertising is word of mouth. The opposite is equally true. Word of mouth can be toxic. Those first users will use the watch, and talk to their friends in the next days, weeks, and months, and determine its fate.

    1. Mario Cantin

      Apple knows that. When they put out a product they obsessively take the time to nail the UX to make it magical. And the word spreads.

      1. SubstrateUndertow

        True but this product is more about stealth long-play market capture than any of Apple’s previous products.They may be willing to spending more time and money setting the table for long-term success this time around as they now have the technological/branding/financial chops to do so.When all the standalone Apps and personal-cloud of sensors/actuators start falling into place the completion will be caught somewhat flat footed without an evolved eco-system in place.

        1. Mario Cantin

          You’re right IMO. They’ve already pre-sold over one million of them, but in 1 1/2 year, the mass market will finally get it and it’ll really take off then.People think it’s a watch right now; it’s not positioned really for what it does.

  5. obarthelemy

    I think the younger crowd is mainly about sending messages out, and smartwatches are not really good for that. Even for getting messages, anything more than a text/tweet (say a picture, an FB post…) is better read on a bigger screen.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      True but the watch will be more focused on sending/receiving messages between “things” that empower automated sensing/actuating.Most of those use case sensors/actuators have not yet arrived !Maybe young people will not fine that kind of cyber control appealing ?

  6. Jessica

    I think the numbers may be skewed somewhat by the propensity to take part in the survey to begin with. People with strong views are more likely to have taken part in the survey vs those who are apathetic and therefore less likely to care about the results. Splitting out the group who care, I think it is safe to assume that people who wish to buy the product are more likely to show a keen interest in doing the survey vs those who hate apple products, due to them feeling a sense of commitment to the product already and hence are wanting to know the results / feeling a sense of obligation or loyalty to defend the product – a type of self selection if you will.

  7. Robert

    I stopped wearing a watch when I started carrying a smartphone. One device on me to tell time is enough. Now I don’t think I am going to get a watch that needs a smartphone to reach it’s full potential.

    1. pointsnfigures

      I love my watch. It’s not anything but a piece of jewelry. I don’t wear it a lot, not near as much as I used to.

  8. Michael B. Aronson

    Spent some quality time yesterday in my local Apple store, trying on various models. The small size ones feel much like an activity tracker, the larger models feel like a watch, especially as you get into the heavier Apple watch models with the wrist bands. Ill probably buy a sport version as an activity tracker (gave up on fitbit as phone apps were sufficient) and to try and use as an adjunct to the phone based productivity apps. The devices are too thick and much like the IPads will improve significantly over time. IF i was a current watch wearer Id consider the mid level Apple Watch with the cool magnetic Milanese band but Id never wear that golfing or biking. Apple will sell a lot of these (I am a early shareholder), the third party apps will drive long time adoption.

    1. awaldstein

      Thanks for this.Have a meeting near a store later and will check them out.

  9. jacopogio

    to explain “apathy among the youngsters” => they didn’t had any watch before (to replace), they are mainly messaging text & photos (better on smartphone), for them it is not impolite to check a phone all day + they don’t care, yet, about calories and health ! πŸ˜‰

  10. Jason

    I get asked in meetings now if my pebble artic white is the “New Apple Watch”. I’ll say “No, its the first….” and people stop listening there ;)I’ll stick with my 5 day battery life including sleep tracking.

  11. William Mougayar

    Were you surprised that 80% of readers surveyed are on iOS vs only 20% on Android roughly?

    1. obarthelemy

      self-selection. people who answer a voluntary survey care about its topic. here you’re combining people interested in venture-capital blogs + people motivated to answer a voluntary iWatch survey… very high demographics bias, very high self-selection bias.would be interesting to know the blog’s baseline OS split, to ferret out the extra survey bias.

      1. William Mougayar

        Good point. Some Android users may feel marginalized by the Apple Watch because it’s not obvious how it plays nice with Android smartphones. At the end of the day, the Apple Watch 1.0 is optimized for iPhone owners.

        1. JimHirshfield

          “Optimized”? I think it only works with iPhones. Androids not at all. Am I wrong?

          1. William Mougayar

            I dunno! It’s not entirely clear. Developers could work on Android Apps that connect to the Apple Watch.

          2. andyswan

            apple watch requires a iphone 5 or newer within range to work properly is my understanding

          3. William Mougayar

            If so, then I think that’s a limitation, even for iPhone users. Wouldn’t you want to ditch your iPhone once in a while if you wanted to?

          4. andyswan

            that’s the Dick Tracy watch we were promised!

          5. William Mougayar

            yup. we may have to wait til the 2.0 version for true P2P communications. the watch needs to have a 3/4G or wi-fi in it, and not just bluetooth.

          6. SubstrateUndertow

            Version 2 that’s the ticket !

          7. Mark Jones

            technically, apple watch already has wi-fi in it, not just bluetooth. though not yet clear how much it can use wi-fi to connect to something other than iPhone.

          8. LE

            Of course it will work on Android eventually just like itunes works on Windows. Just no need to do that at the start and “blow your load”. It’s important to keep numbers going up. Daddy wants to improvement and gets upset when things don’t appear to be heading in a positive direction.

        2. ChrisS

          With phones getting large enough to read and even create content, and devices like the Apple Watch potentially taking over the space previously held by small form factor phones like iPhone 5, it will be interesting to see how this all affects iPad (and tablets in general) sales. Will the iphone 6 stay in my pocket while I get 80% of the functionality from my wrist? Very interested to see where this goes.

        3. obarthelemy

          not only is the iWatch “not optimized” for Android, it doesn’t work at all with it. To use an iWatch, you need an iPhone.

  12. Ana Milicevic

    My gut is that this is more of a geographic play than might be readily obvious. With Angela Arhendts aboard it’s clear that Apple is paying a lot of attention to how it sells consumer products in Asia and the focus on this market is becoming apparent in their product development too (e.g. gold-colored devices). It’s not too far-fetched that the Apple Watch becomes the go-to status symbol for young-money technophiles in emerging markets, thus jumping over and obviating the need for more entrenched status symbols.

    1. awaldstein

      Interesting and completely outside of my thinking.If I see it on the subway and at events that is usually my first litmus test. Need to go through the buying experience at the store.

      1. Ana Milicevic

        Yeah, I think of it more as a luxury wearable (which is potentially a whole new category) and less as a pure technology device (e.g. laptop, phone).

        1. awaldstein

          The luxory expendable income category is hands down my favorite one.This is where the wellness market lives and it is a dream to sell products and build brands around.

          1. David Barnes

            Steve Jobs had a lot of self control staying out of this space. Why is Apple only going after it now he’s dead?

          2. awaldstein

            Can’t possibly know that.Today’s market is different and in my experience having a board room say at $100M and up size companies, you need to build markets to make a difference. The bigger you get the more true this becomes.

          3. SubstrateUndertow

            I think you may be conflating correlation with causation.Job’s self control was focused around his recognition that an innovative product’s breakout timing tends to coalesces around a just-barely ripened intersect between marketplace and technology such that both properly align with integrative-disruption opportunities.The iWatch seems to fit that Jobsonian profile albeit with a slightly extended lead times on its integrative-disruption opportunities, which given their organic social/technological expansiveness seems like a very logical/incremental strategy on Apple’s part.

          4. someone

            b/c cook is under pressure to seem “innovative” (somehow it is not enough to deliver unreal financials while correcting SJ’s stubbornness over screen size).

    2. ShanaC

      This is probably the only reason I would try it. That’s it. As an american, it is just really meh as a status symbol here

      1. Cam MacRae

        The notion it will be a status symbol in Asia is similarly overblown. Still, they will no doubt sell a lot of them.

  13. William Mougayar

    From the Apple’s developer site: “Apple Watch represents a new chapter in the relationship people have with technology.” There’s a big emphasis on notifications and how the Apple Watch interacts with an iPhone. That umbilical cord needs to be cut, IMO in order for the Apple Watch to reach its full potential. The relationship between the watch & the smartphone will be confusing at the beginning:

    1. Lucas Lints

      Seems like in creating a narrative for why the Watch exists, Apple is blaming the iPhone for being too disruptive in daily life. A bit odd that they are talking negativelyabout the product category they created and their biggest product.

    2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      >> “Apple Watch represents a new chapter in the relationship people have with technology.”The new technology relationship (for me) will be that of the Luddite – I say: – No good will come of it !’T’aint right, ‘t’aint proper, ‘t’aint necessary !

      1. William Mougayar

        We’ll see. A suivre.

    3. awaldstein

      cutting the chord–good luck!how does creating a completely new system build on a model for Apple that is hands down the most successful model in the world right now?

      1. falicon

        The watch will be a better entry into the health device (and body hacking) market than the phone or tablet have been.I think over time it will be less about using the ‘watch’ to connect with external devices (the likely v1 focus) and more about using the watch to connect with the internal mind and body (and then communicating that out to other devices/systems).Just my two cents…

        1. awaldstein

          I completely agree.This is a huge one if they can nail it.But the idea of them breaking it off from their other products as a non connected line as William suggests is not going to happen imo. It is not who they are.

          1. SubstrateUndertow

            It is not so much cutting the cord to the phone as making the watch a hud that connects to a larger palette of other devices(sensors&actuators) and services. How many other use cases can be created over time that warrant the cost of the watch without phone?

          2. Bernard Desarnauts

            Yes – the obvious ones are beacons, payment, homekit and carkit end-points

          3. awaldstein

            Of course.That is not cutting the chord at all, but extending it and locking it in.

          4. Bernard Desarnauts

            for sure they will keep a connection and just as sure they’ll expand the use cases for the watch without the phone. the two statements are not incompatible IMO

          5. awaldstein

            Could be.In the next while I just don’t see it. Don’t see the economics of it nor initially the premium brand extension.Hey–i’m wrong often

        2. PhilipSugar

          Ok, this I can understand. The only issue will be is there a huge market for that??

          1. Guest

          2. falicon

            I think the trend is that it only gets larger from here (as we rapidly approach the singularity) πŸ˜€

          3. PhilipSugar

            Mmmmm selling people stuff for their health is hard.

          4. falicon

            I don’t think you sell it that way…but I do think it eventually gets used that way…but the biggest key around this all, I *think*, is that it becomes more and more invisible (to the user). Google glass was a start…this is the next baby step down the road…

      2. William Mougayar

        I think we need both. Right now, the apple watch is appealing to the iPhone users. The other part was wishful thinking, but it will be up to the developers to make the apple watch special within the constraints that apple puts on them.

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          “wishful thinking”seems more like “inevitable trajectory”

          1. awaldstein

            I’ll take that bet.

        2. awaldstein

          In abstract of course I agree.Open is better is a good mantra.Not always a business truth which is where I try to focus my work day thinking.Not true to Twitters business model as currently defined.Beyond the pale of my thinking right now to see how opening up the watch is a leverage to an extended model and brand for Apple that reverberates across its model.

        3. Bernard Desarnauts

          I totally agree here. Rene Ritchie had a good post on it the other day

          1. William Mougayar

            great post. thanks for passing it.

          2. SubstrateUndertow

            Good read! – From that post”distilling what’s critical on a small screen for a brief period of time β€” is the opportunity here.When it comes to developing for the Apple Watch, if there’s something that can’t be done, think about whether it really needs doing in an Apple Watch environment”

      3. Robert Metcalf

        Considering that Apple’s taken the step to connect our phones to our laptops in the most recent iOS, it’s even harder to imagine why they would envision the watch as a stand-alone device. Makes for a great place to embed some sensors on a human, and give them notifications, but real estate seems to limited to extend beyond that (for now). Until it becomes the UI to our personal OS ala “Her”.

    4. Richard

      Statistics without a hypothethis is always dangerous. Think about the reason why those who are not interested in the phone claim it to be the case. The iPhone is so good that the apple watch seems to be superfluous.Think about that for a minute.

      1. William Mougayar

        I think it will be up to the developers community to make the apple watch really good, just as they made the smartphone that way. A smart phone without apps is a dead phone, right?

        1. Richard

          Yep, like the first watch messaging app for junior highschool kids that you can send messages by winking.

          1. Bernard Desarnauts

            or get the answer to a specific test question πŸ˜‰

  14. JimHirshfield

    “…single most important thing to watch in the watch category (pun intended).” Now you’re talking my language.

  15. pointsnfigures

    The youth culture might need someone else to buy it for them as a gift….with Bitcoin : ). They might also need some early adopters from their generation wear it, use it, and pontificate on Snapchat/WeChat what they are doing with it. Once they know the use case, and deem it necessary they will allocate money for it.

    1. andyswan

      When did you get so drunk on the bitcoin koolaid jeff?

      1. pointsnfigures

        I am not as enamored with “Bitcoin” replacing fiat currency. I am extremely intrigued with Blockchain, and other uses for Bitcoin. For example, instead of a large corporate issuing equity, what if they issued CORPORATEcoin instead? What if CORPcoin became fungible as equity, and we did away with clearing +3, and all the other friction in verifying who owns what shares? Or, if firms could attract customers and offer cheaper goods and services with their own individual currency? Early days, and I want to be very open minded about it. I don’t see it replacing fiat currency anytime soon in countries like the US. But ask me about a place like Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina or someplace else where individual citizens are routinely abused by their government and central bankers and Bitcoin might be a better alternate currency that operates well in underground markets.

        1. leapy

          Greece. Case in point. Cryptocurrencies doing well already there, I understand.

    2. Jordan Frankfurt

      Youngin here. Not exaggerating when I say that I haven’t spoken to a single peer who does not think the watch would be a colossal waste of money. I’d be mortified if someone bought me one as a gift.

      1. andyswan

        You only have to wear it when Aunt Sara comes over.

        1. LE

          I can smell the old lady perfume permeating that comment.

        2. Jordan Frankfurt

          lol, only for her.

      2. LE

        Probably a better use of money than cigarettes and fancy sneakers though.And at least the Apple Watch will be an asset that can be resold if you don’t like it. There is always and typically an active market in Apple goods assuming they aren’t a total flop.That’s why the cost of the watch (to try) is not the cost but the net cost after you factor in selling it on ebay (which of course assumes once again that it’s not a colossal fail.

      3. SubstrateUndertow

        It will be interesting to see how long that attitude persists as the use cases pile up over the next year or so !

  16. kevinmurphy

    The younger generation is all over the nicest phone they (the individual) can afford. And sometimes not afford. At this point the watch is barely a thought and until they see a friend with one and that friend finds “cool” uses, then and only then will the youth demand pick up.

  17. andyswan

    people are saying they are gonna use it as a fitness tracker….but doesn’t it require the phone on your person in order to work? Or can you fire up some apps standalone?

    1. Matt Zagaja

      I’m not sure, but I usually have my phone with me when I work out. I’d be surprised if most people are not similar.

    2. Bernard Desarnauts

      tracker/fitness works without the phone present. watch also works without phone while you are within your own WIFI network – lots of upcoming use case scenarios coming up – probably big focus of the upcoming WWDC – if you look at the design invite – looks like a watch overlay on a new apple tv which is rumored to become the “hub” for homekit

  18. Matt Zagaja

    I find it difficult to imagine the watch as being friendly to the price sensitivities of someone who is in college.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      If you pay $100 a month for mobile data services are you really all that price sensitive ?

      1. Matt Zagaja

        Most students in that bracket have their phone bills paid by their parents or are on a family plan where they contribute $10-$20/month.

        1. pointsnfigures


  19. Salt Shaker

    Purchase intent among Andrioid users is likely not all that irrelevant.The watch functions only w/ an iPhone 5 or above. Over 100M series 5, 5s and 5c iPhones have been sold to date, while an add’l 75M iPhones were sold in 1Q (a significant % likely an upgrade to either an iPhone 6 or 6+). Given that, let’s conservatively and hypothetically say there’s at least 125M series 5 iPhones or above currently in service.A 5% conversion rate w/ a $500 avg retail price on the watch yields $3.1B in annual revenue, while 10% yields $6.2B. (Perhaps a small number relative to Apple’s $183B in annual rev. but it’s still a pretty nice biz nonetheless.)The bar for success on the watch does seem fairly low, although the street often does operate w/ irrational expectation.

    1. Matt Zagaja

      I think that makes the Android numbers really interesting, since Fred said they’re similar and the device requires an iPhone to use. This suggests that either the Android cohort are really dual-device users that happen to identify as Android people, or Android people interested in switching. Bellwether for an incursion into Android market share?

      1. Salt Shaker

        I think Apple will capture some share, no doubt, but a vast, vast amount of watch rev has to come from its current user base. To even get in the game, Android users literally have to double their investment relative to iPhone users.

    2. Girish Mehta

      $183B was their global revenue last year…US rev would be ~ 35% of that, I think.p.s. Although not sure why look at US revenue…’tech as fashion’ could well lead out of Asia.

      1. Salt Shaker

        I meant to say U.S. Dollars (and corrected above), but my main point is the company’s conversion hurdle is relatively low for success. Totally agree w/ you re: Asia and fashion.

  20. John Ciasulli

    Love the post. Is there any way to get the raw data to run a more statistical analysis? Also, I went to the store to play with it and decided not to buy. I was on the fence, and will reevaluate in 6 months when the app ecosystem is more robust. My colleague was opposed to the watch idea, went to the store like me, and is now waiting for his watch sport and leather band to arrive. His quote, “it was a perfect sales experience.”

    1. Jesse Ingram

      Agreed, any chance it can be dropped into a Google spreadsheet?

    2. LE

      Doesn’t matter garbage in garbage out thing. AVC is not representative of anything other than the AVC community.

      1. ShanaC

        yup. We’re too self selecive

  21. David Barnes

    How young people evaluate products:My friends have phones => I want a better phone.My friends don’t have watches => I don’t want a watch.A few rich kids will get Apple Watches for Christmas anyway, and then the nagging will begin.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      That’s a keeper. Thank you!

    2. Richard

      funny thing about Xmas and sub 500 gifts, everyone is a rich kid.

      1. David Barnes

        Mine aren’t!

    3. LE

      100% correct. And for example my lust for certain cars began as a kid when I saw the autos that other kids fathers (and people in the neighborhood had) that my Dad didn’t want or couldn’t afford. That imprinting has lasted to this day and has provided me with much happiness and a brain party now that I can afford to buy those cars.

      1. David Barnes

        Good to see you’re self actualizing!

        1. LE

          Inversely, all the gifts from people on birthdays were not toys, they were clothes, “a sweater” let’s say. To this day I rarely buy any clothes and get no enjoyment from doing so.

    4. William Mougayar

      Network effects via psychology

      1. obarthelemy

        sheep mentality

    5. Nick Ambrose

      Watches are also jewelry (at least currently) in a way that a phone isn’tI wont wear a watch but I’d love something on my wrist that could somehow be adapted to the jewelry I do wear there ( a thickish band of steel). Obviously no one is just going to make a device that can integrate into everyone’s wrist jewelry but at least right now thats what it would take to get me to buy one

    6. Hcharlanes

      Maybe true for 14-17 yo. Not true for 17-24 (I am 22).We’re starting to hate Apple. We loved it first thanks to Ipod and Iphone that were truly disruptive. It brought a lot of value to us. We made our parents buy it for us. Then our parents bought apple products for themselves. (From a product for youngster it became a gadget for olders and then a real product for them as they learned (slowly) how to use it and their value)Ipad :We did not want this, we did not want apple to manage our trends. We wanted to make our choices. Our parents that have money still liked the gadget part of Ipad as they did for Iphone, Ipod.But we did not and will not like a gadget, we want value like offered by Ipod or Iphone.Same for Apple Watch IMO :When value will be proved, we will buy it. We will not buy it because it is a new gadget.I and my friends were like “Will Ipad bring value ?”. We were not convinced, we did not buy it.If apple Watch manage to bring value, we will buy it, otherwise we won’t.The target is not youngsters anymore but wealthy quadras that find youngth into gadgets πŸ˜‰

  22. BillMcNeely

    Smart watches to include Apple Watch have found an audience with the disabled. I took a couple who had brain injuries (did not stop him from starting a communications company) to dinner last night. Both had smart watches let them know the time date and important events coming up.

  23. Elia Freedman

    I would bet the < 24 number was apathetic in 2008 toward iPhone and then Android devices, too. All my teenager or near teenager relations were really into BlackBerry back then because of BBM. I want to say 2010 or 2011 is when they all migrated to iPhone en masse.

  24. Food. Fashion. Wine.

    “I see the same thing with my kids and their friends who are in the 18-24 crowd. It makes me wonder if the youth culture is mystified when it comes to watches or weather this is just a money thing.”I think a little bit of both!

  25. Steve Hallock

    There was never any doubt that Apple would sell a lot of them. Now, how many is “a lot” is a different story. It’s interesting that the shipping estimates of June-August that people were getting are apparently already moving towards the present. Apple is very good at creating a perceived gap between demand and supply (as an aside, why don’t more companies do this well?!). I tend to be skeptical that it will really sell in hugely meaningful numbers.The real test will be the V2 product. Will they still be able to sell them once the shininess of a new Apple product category wears off and what’s left is that actual merits of a smartwatch? As a Pebble owner, a Moto 360 owner, and someone who consulted with a high end watch brand leading a project to build a smart watch, I have very serious doubts. I think it is a very flawed product category.As a fun thought experiment, what do you think the $17k gold Apple Watch will be worth in 3-5 years? Probably not a great investment…

    1. ShanaC

      the gold might be worth more…

  26. Richard

    try this same survey in Mandarin πŸ™‚

    1. pointsnfigures

      Or Portuguese

  27. Food. Fashion. Wine.

    “I see the same thing with my kids and their friends who are in the 18-24 crowd. It makes me wonder if the youth culture is mystified when it comes to watches or weather this is just a money thing. “A little bit of both.

  28. Paolo

    I really like the idea of the Apple Watch. I like the idea that notifications become less distracting to those around me – no more pulling out my phone when my pocket buzzes. And payments become that much easier. My problem is I don’t wear a watch – never have. So my indecision is more about – would I actually strap the thing on – something I’ve never been in the habit of doing.

  29. Guest

    Let’s not forget that the Apple Watch icon can’t be deleted by a user. For many, it’s a constant reminder of what they DON’T have. I still remember when I swore I’d never need/use a tablet for anything…

    1. LE

      And not only that when you click on that icon you get a really nifty animation that makes you almost lust for the product.

      1. pointsnfigures

        How bout that? I just read this comment, opened up that button and it’s a continuous ad. Doesn’t make me want to buy it though.

        1. LE

          The expensive watches that you own (if I remember correctly a comment that you made) you bought because your brain sees beauty in them. (Or wants to impress or both). Not for utility. Same reason I buy a particular car (and my mom doesn’t). I see it differently than others and it makes me happy. [1]Apple Watch is a different play. While it is a beautiful object (the way it’s crafted along with hypothetically the software) the main driver to adoption will be the utility it provides. The beauty of the object is just icing on the cake. If you haven’t used it yet and if the ecosystem of utility doesn’t exist yet, there is nothing for certain people to like about it which is why people are reacting the way that they are to it.So if it has utility for you (and for others) it will end up being a big hit. Otherwise it won’t. Very simple. But it will take time until that utility appears. If it doesn’t appear fast enough (who knows what fast enough is) it will be a has been and will fade away.[1] I remember a quasi mentor of mine got into guns. He said to me “I like the look and the feel of a gun”. I don’t feel the same way and since I don’t need a gun I don’t own a gun. However if I needed a gun (like my brother in law who is a jeweler) I would then find utility in a gun and I would buy one. And perhaps like you with watches or like the quasi mentor with guns I would then buy and appreciate guns for the art aspect kicking around in those people’s brains.

          1. pointsnfigures

            Never bought a watch in my life. Only received as gifts. But, I love the one I got because it’s a 1962 vintage. Year of my birth. Now, if I could just dig up some burgundy from that year….

          2. LE

            One of my favorite watch ads (I follow this type of advertising BS):Something like “You never actually own a Patek Philippe you just pass it down from generation to generation”http://www.fratellowatches….

    2. fredwilson

      yet another reason to get an android

      1. justsaying

        … because iOS has a couple of pre-loaded apps? Android certainly isn’t the answer to that

  30. Todd Wascom

    Let’s not forget that the Apple Watch icon can’t be deleted. A constant reminder of what you DON’T have. I also remember back when I swore I’d never use a tablet for anything…

  31. LE

    Finally its quite interesting to note the relative apathy among the youngsters. We also saw them making fun of the watch in the comments. I see the same thing with my kids and their friends who are in the 18-24 crowd.Kids don’t get onboard until they see what their peers are doing. That’s obvious. No social proof? No dice. Very few are going to put rings through their noses or get a tramp stamp and be the first to do so.When the iphone came out my kids wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. I offered to get them one and they wanted some other phone at the time which all of their friends had. That passed after a few years when iphone became the phone to have with all of their friends. Now they exclusively use iphone and wouldn’t think of anything else. Ditto for my step kids who are 12 and 10. They both have iphones. One, the girl, actually wears a watch as well.Hard to say what the adoption will be with the Watch and the younger crowd however at this point they don’t know what they want so what they say is meaningless.If social proof didn’t matter we wouldn’t have an issue with people smoking and starting at a young age.

  32. AndrΓ© DeMarre

    I don’t want to see everyone wearing the same watch. If it’s a hit, I hope the competition catch up quickly. Meanwhile, I’ll be proudly yet discreetly wearing an understated mechanical watch.

  33. PhilipSugar

    Off topic: If Foursquare sells out to Yahoo, there should be some sort of gift Fred is required to give to Yahoo πŸ™‚

    1. pointsnfigures

      He can give them gold Apple Watches.

  34. JJ Donovan

    A follow up survey could ask how many people want to get a new watch that is not an Apple iWatch? All of the recent watch discussion has resurrected my interest in a classic time piece or “trendy brand name” like Tag Heuer, etc or a tried and true Shinola from Detroit.

  35. ShanaC

    I’m in the apathy category (I’m so apathetic the poll seemed silly. hur) – if I were to get a watch, it would be a normal watch. I’d get more fashion use out of it, and my phone would cover the rest.I rather just get better phones all the time, and wear biosensors elsewhere, more subtlety, and not deal with the notifications on my body. That just seems like an awful idea.



  37. Salt Shaker

    i wandered into an Apple store this afternoon.I have to admit, the watch is very well designed and its functionality is quite cool. (Put a big check next to both style and performance.) Early adapters will do a lot of Apple marketing’s heavy lifting as the watch is very much a “show and tell” product.It would have been very interesting to field Fred’s survey BOTH on a pre-exposure and post-exposure basis as a first-hand trial experience w/ the watch did heavily influence my perception.Sorry to disappoint the nay-sayers, but this watch is gonna be a killer!

  38. jschless

    U24 perspective. for my age group (and probably until 30) , the only watches people wear are A) graduation watches (>$1000 rolex, TAG etc.) or B) <$100 (swatch, Daniel Wellington, etc.) C) majority of kids just are wearing watches..for whatever reason.Not much demand for the middle range. Apple watch isnt very sexy either. I dont know if it’s perceived as a status symbol, like a graduation watch would be, nor does it fulfill any type of fashionable void.I see the power users , young adults who are always emailing, texting, etc. to have a good use case (first level of filtration) for purchase of an Apple watch.Among friends who have tried on, and pre ordered the watch, the main reasons have been, 1) they are on their phone so much that it will act as a ‘screener’ b) health component c) phone is too big to text with one handNo one has mentioned the ‘look’ being fantasticI enjoy what apple has done, I think it has finally spurred the movement for great wearables, and although I personally dont love the look of the watch, I think other companies now have the fire lit under their ass to put out great , perhaps more well-designed, product.

  39. Anonymous

    Off topic, but I have a question for Fred or anyone who can answer. How can I issue stock (5%) to an incoming Officer of my C Corp without violating the Fair Labor Standards Act’s requirement of $455 a week in salary or $7.25 minimum wage???? This question has been a real obstacle for me since I only find conflicting information..PLEASE HELP

  40. george

    It hasn’t even been a week and the product doubters are already coming around! Could be a really good year for Apple and sharp elbows for the competition…

  41. Ron Williams

    Kids will want the watch, the communication between them will drive it, plus the status.

  42. pointsnfigures

    It might not become an initial runaway hit, but it won’t be the Newton.

  43. ShanaC

    Last I checked, I’m still a young lady who likes consumer fashion products…And I am still meh

  44. andyswan

    Agree it’ll be amazing (I mean 10 MILLION units!!) but just not as amazing as street is expecting.Still see nothing that shows our prediction was off. If anything the decay curve is steeper than expected.

  45. Girish Mehta

    Not surprised they placed the second order. The success of the iPhone 6 launch reiterated an important takeaway- viz. you never have an accurate read of demand at launch of a new product when you are short on supply.A lesson I learnt a long time back (actually at time Pentium III to Pentium 4 transition in 2001) – When you are short of supply at new product launch of a consumer product, “Sales + Backlog” Does NOT equal to Demand. You don’t have a proper read on demand that walked out of the door because you just quoted a 15-day extended lead time…and anecdotal data can be misleading in either direction about what the true demand is.They had a blockbuster last quarter – guided for a $65 billion quarter and came in at $75 billion – and if you listen to their comments, they called out the iPhone 6 production ramp as a driver of the revenue upside. Sales beat expectations yes, but BECAUSE the iphone 6 production ramp beat their earlier estimates. In previous launches, production did not ramp up as aggressively.Given the attempt at category creation here, if I were Apple, I’d make sure to double down on the supply even at the risk of creating excess inventory – to get a proper read on demand at launch. Which will then inform where they go with the n+1 version of this product. Thanks.

  46. ShanaC

    but currently, that’s apple’s mojo – is this a sustainable product?

  47. andyswan

    stakes? πŸ™‚

  48. Salt Shaker

    An analyst I’m certainly not, but a shareholder I am πŸ™‚ Wouldn’t mind at all going w/ your metrics. Apple’s petty cash is many companies annual rev. My concern is Wall Street and their grandiose expectations. I may stop by the Apple store today for a quick look.

  49. LE

    Charlie in the end either people like the bread and buy it in vast numbers or they don’t. All the speculation and throwing around of hypothetical numbers is meaningless. You know how people are all obsessed with cupcakes and similar cake like products? Imagine if you tried to project that based on the small bakeries that existed years ago and percentages.Further, Apple has no doubt carefully crafted the supply chain to have less watches than are in demand in order to create an artificial shortage. The first thing to watch for will be if there are not shortages. (If so then you have an early indication of non-popularity) Then to see if all the sudden at Christmas time how much they release at that time.The other thing to keep in mind is that the watch, by my authentication theory, will take time to provide the value that will keep users in the game. The good news is that Apple has enough money to goose that process. They could easily buy a payment terminal company and/or subsidize and give away terminals in order to drive adoption of the watch. Almost a version of razor and razor blade or what HP does with printers and printer ink.

  50. Elia Freedman

    That article is clearly wrong on a number of levels. It is horrible, lazy reporting for anyone to repeat it. (Meaning news organizations, not us.)

  51. andyswan

    gotcha. It confirmed my bias so I went with it though πŸ™‚

  52. Elia Freedman

    Never let facts stand in the way of a good bias confirmation!

  53. Elia Freedman

    If I was betting, I’d say iPad-like sales, which normally compared to PC sales historically and Apple sales historically would look amazing… but then iPhone screws that all up.

  54. pointsnfigures

    Sell calls. At least you will collect premium.

  55. andyswan

    now I want to lose

  56. ShanaC

    I want to try this….

  57. pointsnfigures

    I am surprised Andy didn’t counter with Bud Light.

  58. LE

    you never have an accurate read of demand at launch of a new product when you are short on supply.Except as mentioned short supply is often a goal for a particular purpose in itself.

  59. Girish Mehta

    I thought about that earlier..but i think Apple may not be the point of needing artificial shortages to create demand. It is between that and understanding true demand…think they will lean toward the latter.A tight supply strategy has been used effectively over the last year here in India by another phone maker (flash sale that lasts 1 second…product is sold only online…pre-registrations placed for days leading up, and sold out instantly since supply is much lesser than pre-registrations). But that was a brand establishing themselves in the country and it worked for them in creating a buzz (upto a point).I don’t know – if I were Apple at this point, if I need to do that. Their last quarter was the most successful quarter of any company in history, ever.

  60. LE

    but i think Apple may not be the point of needing artificial shortages to create demandReally not “demand” but “greater demand”. Perhaps a better way to state the nuance of this is “Apple using artificial shortages to stoke ‘want and desire'”. People tend to value and want what they can’t have. Basic human nature.Hot “clubs” have plenty of demand. They further stoke that by having roped lines out front and always keeping people in the line to make a place appear to be more desirable than it is.

  61. ShanaC

    what brand – I’m curious how they handled the details of the branding experience of doing this

  62. Girish Mehta

    Was referring to Xiaomi. They do a few-hour sales in China, but in India, several sales of a few seconds.

  63. ShanaC

    where. Can I also share the espresso part (mmm coffee)

  64. ShanaC

    Multiple repeat sales cycles of the same product. The swatch effect

  65. ShanaC

    no. But I am not sure how many of my female friends who like consumer fashion products are either (I’m guessing very few)

  66. ShanaC