Apple Watch? No, Thank You

Apple has some convincing to do around its much-hyped Apple Watch: 67% of people are not eager to buy, according to our latest flash poll.

Don't be shy. Tell us how you really feel about the Apple Watch. Oh wait, you just did, in our latest flash poll.

We asked, "Are you considering buying an Apple Watch or other brand of smartwatch," and 585 of you took the time to weigh in the week of Sept. 15. Two thirds of respondents (66.84%) gave us a resounding, "No way!"

Just over a fifth of you (22.56%) said you want an Apple Watch. Things are looking even more grim for other smartwatch makers: Only 8.71% of respondents want another brand of smartwatch, while a mere 1.88% already own one.

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Personally, I'm holding out for this:


Or this:


Actually, what I've really been waiting for is this:

Of course, I've also been waiting for flying automobiles, so I guess I've got expectations that exceed reality. If that's the case, it's possible I'm not alone.

Analysts at Gartner, Citigroup, and other prestigious organizations are predicting a rosy future for smartwatches.

Gartner forecasts that by 2016, smartwatches will account for 40% of wrist-worn devices. Gartner arrives at that conclusion, in part, by excluding traditional, non-connected wristwatches from its analysis. Rather, their wrist-worn devices definition encompasses fitness wristbands, such as FitBit, but not your Timex. According to Gartner: "Nine out of the top 10 smartphone vendors have entered the wearables market to date or are about to ship a first product, while a year ago only two vendors were in that space."

CitiGroup Research predicts that the market for smartwatches will grow from $2 billion in 2014 to $10 billion in 2018. Market research firm GfK polled a total of 5,000 smartphone owners in China, Germany, South Korean, the U.K. and the U.S. (1,000 in each country) in August 2014 to gauge interest in smartwatches and other wrist-worn devices. According to the GfK report:

With the exception of China, the price of a smartwatch is the most important purchase criterion in all surveyed countries. Functionality is named second in most countries, with the ability to monitor and display activity and health data in third. In contrast, Chinese consumers place the greatest importance on the accuracy of the smartwatch, followed by recording activity and the brand. In this respect, the strong interest for owning brand name products in China is clearly reflected in the findings. Well-known technology companies are named as the preferred supplier of smartwatches by respondents in all countries. They are considerably ahead of sports brands in second place. The Chinese market, above all, holds potential for luxury brands from the fashion and watch industries.

Buyers of traditional watches – at least those who can afford the high-end kind -- seem to lack the same price sensitivity being shown toward smartwatches.

According to the Wall Street Journal, exports of luxury Swiss watches reached $23.3 billion in 2013. Where Apple and the other smartwatch makers might be competing with traditional watchmakers is against brands such as Swatch, Skagen, and others that retail in the $100-$500 range. The question for me, though, is whether an either-or comparison is even appropriate.

Does a smartwatch really compete against a traditional watch? At the moment, smartwatches require a smartphone. Once that technical challenge is solved, it's far more likely that the smartwatch could become a replacement for our phones themselves. Until then, I plan to proudly wear my (decidedly low-end) traditional wristwatch and carry my smartphone in my pocket. How about you? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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