Why Users Love Their Apple Watch (Hint: Not Its Performance)

Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images for Apple

Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images for Apple

The Apple Watch as a product is still in its infancy. Apple hasn’t yet developed a killer app for the device, developers of the top apps for the iPhone are skeptical of the platform, and even some of the most enthusiastic of tech fans have doubts about the value of the wearable. But one group of people who’s very happy with the Apple Watch is the users who have already bought one — even if it’s not the performance or the functionally of the watch that they’re most happy about.

According to a survey by Wristly, users who have purchased the Apple Watch are quite satisfied with the first generation of the device. Wristly, which calls itself “the largest independent Apple Watch research platform,” asks its subscriber base of more than 1,100 Apple Watch owners five questions each week. More than 800 completed the latest survey, and Wristly’s researchers report that 31% of respondents said that they are somewhat satisfied with the Apple Watch, while 66% are already very satisfied with the wearable.

Interestingly, Wristly investigated users’ satisfaction with different aspects of the watch and found that it isn’t the watch’s performance that’s the most pleasing to users. A full 80% of respondents said that they were very satisfied with the Apple Watch’s build quality and durability, while 74% were very satisfied with the device’s aesthetics and design. A total of 95% of respondents were either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with both aspects of the watch, and 91% of respondents are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the Apple Watch’s ease of use and features and functionality.

The data for other aspects of the watch reveals that there’s room for improvement as the Apple Watch matures. A relatively low 48% of respondents were very satisfied with ease of use (again, versus 80% for build quality and 74% for design). Forty-four percent were very satisfied with the support offered to purchasers of the watch, and only 28% of respondents were very satisfied with the watch’s performance, speed, and battery life.

The percentage of users who were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the watch’s performance totals 76%, and 12% reported that that they were somewhat or very dissatisfied.  Given the limitations of watchOS 1 and limited third party app availability, Wristly’s researchers report that Apple “has an opportunity to get the somewhat satisfied users into the delighted category with the upcoming OS2 update, and continued growth of the third-party ecosystem.”

Wristly also compared customer satisfaction with the initial version of the Apple Watch with the satisfaction recorded for the original iPhone and the first iPad. Data gathered by ChangeWave Research in 2010 found that the iPad had a customer satisfaction rate of 91%, while data collected by the same group in 2007 found that the original iPhone had a 92% satisfaction rate. The comparison looks good for the Apple Watch. “Only time will tell if the sales results also play out accordingly,” the report notes, “but for now this is a very strong early indicator of Apple’s product execution for its first wearable product.”

Wristly customer satisfaction levels with original Apple Watch, iPhone, and iPad

Source: Wristly.co

It turns out that whether or not you work in technology can have a significant impact on how satisfied you feel with your Apple Watch. Users who don’t work in tech are a little bit more likely to report feeling satisfied or very satisfied with the device, while they’re significantly more likely to report being delighted with it, with 73% of respondents who don’t work in tech reporting feeling delighted versus 63% for those who have roles in the tech industry, and only 43% for those whose jobs entail building or marketing mobile apps. The report elaborates:

We are quite confident of this trend as it maps closely to the prior Net Promoter Score (“NPS”) research we conducted last month, where most of you claimed that the watch was good but only for certain types of early adopters. Today, we can see clearly that the mainstream consumers in our panel (and perhaps across the world?) are delighted with their Apple Watches!

Most users believe that the Apple Watch is worth its price tag, with 73% of respondents opining that it’s a good deal, and a further 14% saying that it’s a very good deal. Only 12% thought that the Apple Watch was a poor value. The researchers noted that there are significant differences in the perception of value between the two primary Watch models; the perceived value is significantly higher for owners of the steel Apple Watch versus those who purchased the Sport version. However, 27% of respondents say that they’re likely to buy another Apple Watch in the near future for someone else, and 14% say that they’re definitely going to purchase another watch.