In the world of analysts, there’s one particularly well known one who works for Piper Jaffray. Often heard claiming things like “Apple will release an Apple TV set this year”, Gene Munster has recently given his thoughts on a recent survey undertaken by his company.
799 US consumers were surveyed regarding the long-rumored Apple smart watch. The result: Between 2%-4% of current iPhone owners would buy an “iWatch”. Since Apple has around 293 million customers with iPhones, that translates broadly between 5 and 10 million sales in the first year of its existence.
“While we do not view the watch as a likely needle-mover for Apple in terms of revenue in 2014, we put it in a similar category as the television in that it could demonstrate Apple’s ability to innovate (good for the multiple) and potentially lead to a more meaningful new product category in wearable tech.”
The survey in question pitched the iWatch at around $350. 12% of all respondents said they would be interested.
It’s pretty incredible to me that anyone could make any sort of estimation on anything that doesn’t even exist yet. There are too many hypotheticals in here, and I find it difficult to believe you can get any real sense of what’s going to happen when you only get 800 respondents.
That said, I find the idea of a useful piece of wearable tech irresistible. Right now, on the market, I don’t see anything that’s entirely compelling. The ones that look really cool (Fuel Band/Up) are far too limited in what they can do, and the ones packed with features are either too ugly, too impractical (Galaxy Gear) or not fully optimized to work with an iPhone.
It’s clear that there’s a space in this fledgling market for an Apple branded product. And, I desperately hope Cupertino comes up with something entirely different to everyone else. Something that doesn’t look like a traditional watch, something that’s as big an innovation as the iPhone was in 2007.