We had been speculating about the Apple watch for years when Apple finally unveiled its first foray into wearable technology in September 2014. The Apple Watch (yep, not the iWatch), is an Apple-made smartwatch that was first shown off during Apple's September iPhone 6 event. Here, we bring you the Apple Watch release date rumours in the UK, specs and features, UK price and photographs of the device.
It's been six months since we got our first glimpse at the Apple Watch, and Apple has decided to host a second Apple Watch event on 9 March to finalise the details and offer official release date and pricing information. See: How to watch the Apple Watch event live stream
You can also read our full first look review of the Apple Watch, including UK pricing information. And: Will the Apple Watch will be a flop? Plus, find out what's in store for this year: Apple rumours and predictions for 2015
You might also like: Apple Watch countdown: Or how to announce the same product twice
Apple Watch release date: When is the iWatch coming out? When will Apple Watch launch in the UK?
The event, which will be attended by analysts and media, will take place in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The event should shed light on the exact release date for the Apple Watch, as well as the final pricing structure for the various different models on offer.
[We hope to see a new MacBook Air at this event too read more here: 12in Retina MacBook Air release date rumours]
Rumours have always suggested that the Apple Watch would launch in the US first, with a staggered worldwide launch – that was until now, anyway. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently took a trip to the flagship Apple Store in Berlin, Germany. While there, Cook conversed with employees and allegedly told them that the Watch isn’t an exclusive device to the United States when it launches in April.
If this pans out, it shows that Apple is being very aggressive to get the Watch on as many wrists as it can, right from the off. Is Apple feeling the pressure from other smartwatches like the Pebble Time? Find out more in our Apple Watch vs Pebble Time comparison.
Prior to the event announcement, Apple had revealed that the Watch would be coming out in 'Early 2015,' and developers have been building apps for the smartwatch since back in October 2014 using Apple's Watch Kit.
Additionally, in a January conference call regarding Apple's financial results, Apple's CEO Tim Cook suggested that the watch will be available in April.
As of mid February, third party app developers are said to have been invited to Apple’s Cupertino campus to join Apple’s developers as they finish work on the WatchKit apps for the Apple Watch, and one rumour even suggests that 100,000 apps will be available for the Apple Watch at launch (that's according to analyst Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research but we're expecting rather a lot fewer than that). Apple is said to be holding workshops for those developers. According to 9to5Mac the secrecy surrounding these meetings is so tight that the developers are given only numbers, not name badges.
Apple Store employees are also being trained at secret workshops in Los Angeles, Cupertino, Austin, and Atlanta.
Apple is also, apparently, installing safes in its retail stores for the more pricy Apple Watches. According to 9to5Mac it also has weight scales to determine how much gold is in an individual Apple Watch, perhaps to avoid fake watches being accepted as returned faulty Apple Watches.
Beyond the April time frame, we still don't know exactly when the Apple Watch will launch. However, we can rule out the first weekend as 3rd - 6th April is Easter weekend and therefore not likely to be a suitable weekend for the launch.
Apple Watch price UK: How much will the iWatch cost?
The Apple Watch starts at $349, which we expect will be around £300 here in the UK. That’s £216 plus 20% VAT and a little more 'Apple Tax'.
An alternative way of looking at the price is to find a comparably priced product. The 64GB iPod touch costs $299 in the US and £249 in the UK. While the Retina iPad Mini costs $399 in the US and £319 in the UK. So pick a number in the middle of the two, about £294. Therefore, we think our £300 estimate is pretty close to the starting price you can expect to see.
New reports from French Apple site igen.fr have suggested that the Apple Watch Edition, which is made with real gold, could cost up to $5000, which is more than £3000. The Steel version could start at $500, the report says, which could translate to around £450.
We'll bring you UK pricing when it is announced.
You'll also need to own an iPhone in order to use the Apple Watch. The Watch is compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple Watch rumours: What Apple CEO Tim Cook has said
When Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the Apple Watch he said: "Apple introduced the world to several category-defining products, the Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. And once again Apple is poised to captivate the world with a revolutionary product that can enrich people's lives. It's the most personal product we've ever made."Apple design guru Jony Ive explained that the Apple Watch includes multiple new technologies and an entirely new user interface designed "specifically for a device that's designed to be worn."
"It blurs the boundary between physical object and user interface," Ive said. "We've created an entire range of products that enable unparalleled personalisation."
Find out more about this personalisation, which is achievable through both hardware and software options, as well as the reasons why Apple believes the Apple Watch will be a category-defining product by reading on.
Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about the Apple Watch during a talk a the Goldman Sachs conference on 10 February. To begin, he reminded us of Apple's success in the MP3 player industry despite the fact that the iPod was by no means the first. "They weren't used very much. They were fundamentally too hard to use, and the user interface was really bad. You almost needed a PhD to use these. They're not memorable. They didn't really move the dial," he said of the iPod's rivals.
Cook then added that the tablet market had been the same: "There were lots of tablets shipping when the iPad came out. But there was nothing earth-shattering."
Of course, Cook thinks that the smartwatch category is the same, but that the Apple Watch can change it in the way that the iPod and the iPad did with their respective industries. "There are several things that are called smart watches that are shipping, but I'm not sure you could name any. Maybe you could. I'm not sure the audience could name very many. But certainly there's been none that have changed the way people live their lives."
"And so what we want to do at Apple, that's our objective: We want to change the way you live your life," Cook continued. " And just like the iPad has changed the way you work, and hopefully the way you live, and the iPhone has done that, we see Apple Watch doing that."
"I've been using one, and I'm actually wearing one now – but I wear it all the time actually," he added. "And I think one of the biggest surprised people are going to have when they start using it is the breath of what it will do."
Cook then spoke a bit about the design, and the various different colours, band types and sizes available, as mentioned elsewhere in this article. He suggested that we'll be using Siri more often with our Apple Watches, and getting notifications on our wrists.
The most obvious use for the Apple Watch is fitness tracking, though, and Cook says he uses it in the gym to track his activity level. "If I sit for too long, it will actually tap me on the wrist to remind me to get up and move. Because a lot of doctors believe that sitting is the new cancer, right? And arguably activity is good for all of us. And so if you haven't moved within the hour, ten minutes before the hour it'll tap you."
Cook concluded: "It took a little while to get used to, but it's actually very good. And so, there's just an enormous number of things that it will do, and I think you're going to find something that you're going to think, "Wow, I can't live without this anymore!" And you're gonna be deciding you may not want to give up that real estate for that particular watch anymore."
Is the Apple Watch waterproof?
When the Apple Watch was first unveiled, it wasn't waterproof, but Apple CEO Tim Cook has reportedly been overheard mentioning to employees in a German Apple Store that he wears his Apple Watch in the shower, hinting that the waterpoofing has been improved. An Apple representative had mentioned last year that you'd be able to wear the Apple Watch in the rain or during a particularly sweaty workout, but not in the shower or while swimming, but if what Cook said is true then that may now have changed.
We should find out for sure during Apple's 9 March event.
What does Woz think about smartwatches?
Even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has said that he would welcome an iWatch. However, he seems to keep changing his tune. In 2014 he was dismissing it as a “luxury fitness band,” perhaps because, as he admits in a BBC interview, “I’ve had bad experience with smartwatches so far.”
Now he is being a lot more enthusiastic. In an interview with the BBC Woz states: “Apple makes products more fun than anyone else. If you look at the display it’s almost like a little piece of art … It’s going to be so special. Everyone’s going to notice it, just like you do nowadays when you walk around — ‘You’ve got an iPhone, you’ve got an iPhone, you’ve got an iPhone.’ A lot of people, especially in hip areas, they’re going to be saying, ‘You’ve got the right watch, you’ve got the same watch as me.'”
Woz also talks about the market for the Apple Watch. “I look around a lot of times nowadays and when you’re in groups of older people, they still wear a lot of watches - usually like jewellery. Younger people wear no watch, they got rid of it, because it’s in the way.”
“That’s the question about a smartwatch: is it going to be a new class of jewellery that came back? Obviously, the wrist is free (for new devices), but it has to have a good enough use,” he asks.
Woz also suggests that although niche, measuring blood sugar levels for diabetics could be big, because it’s a “niche market that’s huge already”.
He goes on to say that Apple has “made so many good products that everyone who owns Apple products will buy [the Apple Watch] and that means millions of people will buy this watch from the start. That helps get a critical mass going.”
In the following paragraphs we summarise what Wozniak had said about the Apple Watch, and smart watches in general, in 2014...
Woz believes that wearables will be “a hard sell” for Apple. "Apple works very hard to produce exceptionally great products and doesn't quickly release things like a wearable. So if one is introduced I expect it to have a chance to set the direction and make the product category finally viable," Woz told Cnet.
He goes on to suggest that these wearable devices may be relegated to the same category as Bluetooth headsets: “fun to wear and show off for a day”.
Woz is hoping for a larger screen on the rumoured iWatch. He told Cnet that 1.5in screens aren’t big enough for him. He also hinted that the speaker had better be good if the iWatch is to serve as a speakerphone.
However, Woz is confident that Apple will be able to transform the wearable device market as they did the smartphone market with the launch of the iPhone in 2007.
This isn't the first time Wozniak has spoken about wearables and smartwatches. Back in July 2014, Woz said that he doesn't like the smartwatches he's tested so far. In fact, he hated the Samsung Galaxy Gear so much he sold it soon after he got it. "That was the only technology I bought to experiment with that I threw out after half a day, sold it on eBay because it was so worthless and did so little that was convenient. You had to hold it up to your ear and stuff," he told Xconomy.
Jony Ive and Apple Watch
In a New Yorker profile Jonathan Ive states that it is obvious that wearables should take the form of a gadget worn on the wrist, instead of on the face.
He said the face is “the wrong place” and that the wrist is “the obvious and right place” for a wearable computer. “We always thought that glasses were not a smart move, from a point of view that people would not really want to wear them,” Cook explained in the interview. His reasoning, glasses are intrusive, Apple believes technology should be pushed to the background.
However, the New Yorker profile of Ive suggests that the Apple Watch could be Ive's last project. According to the report Ive was so burned out by his workload last year that he caught pneumonia. Another reason for the speculation is that other designers are being profiled alongside Ive as involved in the project, such as Marc Newson, who is a known contributor to the project.
Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs’ widow also suggested that Apple may be considering “a slightly different structure that’s a little more sustainable and sustaining” for Ive, suggesting that there can be a toll on such work.
Apple Watch & the iPhone companion app: features
The iOS 8.2 beta reveals that there is an Apple Watch application being designed for the Apple Watch and now features of this companion app for the iPhone have appeared, hinting at many new features of the Apple Watch.
The application will manage settings for the Apple Watch applications, and the way the iPhone and Apple Watch interact.
9to5Mac has had a peek at the new Apple Watch companion app, and has published a number of screen shots to illustrate it.
The icon for the Apple Watch companion apps for iPhone was revealed in early February, by 9To5Mac's Mark Gurman on Twitter. It's pretty simple, with a black background and a white/grey circle that represents the side of the smartwatch.
You can try AppSimilator's Apple Watch demo here, which offers up an idea of what the Apple Watch interface is like.
The Apple Watch app will offer the following features.
Apple Watch Home Screen layout
You will be able to change the layout of the Apple Watch home screen via a virtual view in the iPhone app.
Apple Watch: Health
Apparently the Apple Watch will not be everything Apple had planned for it to be, due to technological and regulatory hurdles.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the Apple Watch would have been a health-monitoring tool, capable of measuring a user's blood pressure, heart rate, stress level and more, but Apple executives were backed into a corner. Apparently the project was dubbed a "black hole" for sucking in resources, according to the WSJ report.
There are a number of health sensors on the Apple Watch, but in many cases component reliability didn’t meet Apple's rigorous standards, for example, skin conductivity sensors gave different results depending on how hairy the users arms were, and blood pressure and blood oxygen measurement was inconsistent.
Apple Watch clock functions
According to 9to5Mac, there is a new clock face feature called Monogram that will let you add an embedded stamp of 1-4 letters on your clock face. This is one way to personalise the clock face.
The iPhone app will allow you to set a red dot to appear at the top of the Apple Watch clock face whenever a notification is received.
You can also chose to track a stock and have the data appear on the watch face.
Apple Watch Messages
Users of the iPhone companion app will be able to make various tweaks to the way the messages function works on the Apple Watch. For example, users will be able to switch between Dictation and Audio Replies as your preferred means of replying. Users will also be enable to disable Read Receipts, set up default text replies, and choose not to receive alerts from certain people.
Apple Watch Maps
Users of the Apple Watch iPhone app will be able to enable or disable the Taptic Engine for turn-by-turn directions, determining whether the watch ‘taps’ you on the wrist, or not.
Apple Watch Accessibility
There are a number of accessibility settings that can be managed on the iPhone app, these include a VoiceOver feature, the ability to zoom in on the screen, and settings to reduce motion, control audio, reduce transparency, enable bold text, and more.
Apple Watch Passcode
Users will be able to set up a four number passcode for the Apple Watch. This needs to be set up in order to use Apple Pay (soon to launch in the UK, reports indicate). Users will be able to unlock the Apple Watch by unlocking the connected iPhone, according to 9to5Mac, but this will only work if the Apple Watch is connected to the body and if the code is entered incorrectly up to 10 times then the watch will wipe all its data.
Apple Watch Activity, Motion, Fitness
Via the companion app on the iPhone users will be able to activate fitness features including a reminder if they have been sitting for too long, or a summary of how much activity the watch has logged in the past 4, 6 or 8 hours.
Apple Watch About Screen
On the iPhone app users will be able to see the storage capacity available on the Apple Watch, how many apps and tracks are stored on the watch, Bluetooth and WiFi information, and more. 9to5Mac claims that there doesn’t appear to be any information about photo storage, suggesting that the photos may not be stored on the device itself.
Apple Watch & Apple's WatchKit: features
Apple has launched WatchKit for app developers, giving further insight into how Apple's first wearable, the Apple Watch, will work.
WatchKit is the framework that developers will use to create Apple Watch apps. It's available now to developers as part of the iOS 8.2 SDK beta, along with new design guidelines that demonstrate how Watch apps should behave.
In its release announcement, Apple names ESPN, Instagram and American Airlines as early partners. The developers guidelines also reveal new details on the hardware itself.
Apple left a lot of questions unanswered when it announced the Apple Watch in September, particularly on the topic of third-party apps. The new guidelines give a much better sense of what it will be like to use the Apple Watch once app developers get on board.
Third-party Apple Watch apps will have a few different modes at their disposal:
'Glances provide quick looks at things like sports scores, stocks and weather. They're non-interactive and must be confined to a single screen, so that users can swipe between Glances from different apps. However, tapping on a Glance can open a full watch app if it exists.
Notifications on the Apple Watch borrow heavily from interactive notifications in iOS 8, letting users take action on emails, social media mentions and other notifications without opening the app itself. Notifications will initially appear in a "short look" preview mode, and they'll go away if the user lowers his or her wrist. More details and interactive options will appear if the user taps on the notification or leaves his or her wrist up.
Full-blown apps allow for deeper interactions as needed. For example, users could open a to-do app to view and dismiss tasks, or open a music app to control playback.
In all cases, Apple emphasises the idea of quick, lightweight interactions. "A Watch app complements your iOS app; it does not replace it," the design guidelines say. "If you measure interactions with your iOS app minutes, you can expect interactions with your Watch app to be measured in seconds."
One other important note: At launch, all Watch apps will required a paired phone to operate. Apple says fully native Watch apps will be available later in the year.
According to Bloomberg, Apple expects that users of the Apple Watch will only spend 10 seconds at a time looking at their smartwatch, to get quick bursts of information rather than spending longer interacting with the device.
The design guidelines also reveal a screen resolution of 240x272 pixels for the 38mm Watch, and 390 x312 pixels for the 42mm watch. Apple says that apps should display the same content for both sizes.
Apple Watch design & features: Digital Crown
The Apple Watch has a dial on the side, much like the one found on traditional watches, which Apple has called the Digital Crown. This Digital Crown contains sensors that turn movement into data, so will be the main input method for the Apple Watch rather than the touchscreen display. You'll be able to scroll, zoom and navigate using the Digital Crown.
Apple makes a valid point about a touchscreen display on a smartwatch, suggesting that using pinch-to-zoom gestures on such a small display will simply cover up the content.
"The Digital Crown is Apple's most revolutionary navigation tool since the iPod Click Wheel and iPhone Multi-Touch," writes Apple in its press release.
The Digital Crown also acts as a Home button, and a way to access Siri.
Apple Watch design & features: Display
The Apple Watch will be available with two different screen sizes. The first measures 38mm tall, while the second is slightly bigger at 42mm tall.
The flexible Retina display of the Apple Watch is made from a single crystal of sapphire, or if you opt for an Apple Watch from the Sport Collection, it'll be strengthened Ion-X glass. This display is designed to be able to detect force, too.
"In addition to recognising touch, Apple Watch senses force, adding a new dimension to the user interface," says Apple. Force Touch uses tiny electrodes around the flexible Retina display to distinguish between a light tap and a deep press, and trigger instant access to a range of contextually specific controls.
The Apple Watch's display will activate when you move your wrist.
Apple Watch: Collections and strap designs
There are six different, interchangeable straps available for the Apple Watch. These include the Link Bracelet, Sport Band, Leather Loop, Classic Buckle, Modern Buckle and Milanese Loop.
The various designs of the Apple Watch itself are split into three collections. The first is simply called Apple Watch, with a polished case made from a custom alloy of stainless steel. The second is the Sport collection, which has an anodised aluminium case and is 60 per cent stronger, according to Apple. The third is the Apple Watch Edition is made from 18k gold, up to twice as hard as standard gold apparently.
"One of the biggest challenges that we found was that we couldn't all be sitting there wearing the same thing. I don't think we want to wear the same thing," said Jony Ive in an interview at the London Design Museum, talking about Apple's decision to make the design of the Apple Watch so customisable. "Which is why we developed this system, not a single product."
"It is a flexible system, so hopefully it will be appealing, but there's still a very singluar idea," Ive continued. "We're not just throwing a whole bunch of ideas against the wall to see which one sticks... like some people." (We're looking at you, Samsung).
Apple Watch specs: Processor
The chip inside the Apple Watch is custom-designed, and is called the S1. This chip features many subsystems that have been encapsulated in resin for extra durability.
Apple Watch specs: Sensors
There are four, super-durable sapphire lenses on the back of the device, which houses a sensor that uses infrared and visible-light LEDs and photodiodes to detect your heart rate. This sensor is joined by an accelerometer, and uses the GPS and WiFi in your iPhone to measure physical movement, to help the device collect data about your daily activities.
You'll get a comprehensive picture of your daily activity from the Apple Watch, and you'll be able to establish and suggest goals.
According to reports, the Apple Watch was originally intended to have more advanced health features with additional sensors, but manufacturing issues and reliability problems meant that Apple was forced to leave sensors including blood pressure sensors out of the smartwatch.
TechCrunch has speculated that a mystery port on the Apple Watch could be the key to prolonging the life of the Apple Watch, by allowing it to connect with new devices and accessories in the future that help introduce additional features including new sensors, for example. After all, the top Apple Watch could cost up to $10,000 some reports say, so that's no small investment for a watch that could be obsolete in a year or two.
Apple Watch specs: Other features
The Apple Watch has a new feature called the Taptic Engine, which provides haptic feedback to users. It works with the Apple Watch's built-in speaker to enable a new set of alerts and notifications that you'll be able to both hear and feel.
When getting turn-by-turn notifications, for example, you'll feel a different alert that'll let you know whether you need to turn left or right without needing to actually look at the display.
Apple Watch specs: Charging & battery life
The Apple Watch features inductive charging, and there's no alignment or exposed contacts necessary because it's completely sealed. It uses MagSafe technology that lets you hold the connector near the back of the watch and let the magnets snap it into place automatically.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has suggested that you'll need to charge your Apple Watch every night. "We think people are going to use it so much that you're going to wind up charging it daily – overnight… Given my own experience and others around me, you're going to wind up charging every day because you're using it so much that it's going to need to be charged," he said in an interview at the Wall Street Journal Live technology conference on 28 October.
A new report that emerged in late January 2015 suggests that Apple is aiming to give the Apple Watch a 19 hour battery life for mixed use, but that it might only last for 2.5 hours with 'heavy' use.
9To5Mac reports that people with knowledge of the smartwatch's development have said that the processor and screen Apple has chosen are particularly power-hungry, which poses a problem when it comes ot battery life. Apparently, Apple is set to achieve a 2-3 day battery life for standby or low power modes, but just 2.5 hours for game-play or 3.5 hours of standard app use. Fitness tracking apps will drain the battery in 4 hours. Most poeple won't be using apps for that long each day, so a 19 hour battery life is more likely for mixed use, with the majority of the time in idle use.
These figures have been determined thanks to the 3,000 Apple Watches that are believed to be in the wild for testing right now.
AppleWatch features: Software
Apple has created a brand new user interface for the Apple Watch. It comes with a range of watch faces, and is personalisable. There are currently 11 watch faces in total, including the dynamic Timelapse face, the Astronomy face and the Solar face. Additional customisable information for the Apple Watch's main display includes moonphases, upcoming events, activity level display and more.
The Apple Watch is designed to provide the user with information that can be viewed at a glance. That's why Apple has come up with Smart Replies that can be used in conjunction with dictation to allow you to respond to messages.
The Apple Watch also works with the new Handoff feature introduced with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, so you'll be able to pick up messages you've begun on your Apple Watch straight on your iPhone.
A second feature is Glances, which, as the name suggests, shows you information at a glance including location, stocks, appointments and more.
You'll be able to control your music through the Apple Watch, and it seems like you'll be able to store music on the device itself, too.
You'll be able to access your calendar, see the weather forecast, receive notifications, send an audio recording or convert an audio recording to text using dictation, ask Siri questions, take a look through your favourited photos, view Maps and get directions. Other apps include Twitter, CityMapper, home automation apps, sports apps, fitness apps and more.
Two new apps designed for the Apple Watch by Apple are Activity and Workout, which monitor your activity and let you set goals for specific types of workouts. Both of these apps use the accelerometer, heart rate sensor, GPS and WiFi to collect the relevant data, which will work with the Fitness app on your iPhone.
There's also a new app called Digital Touch, which will let users communicate with someone just by tapping. You can draw on the AppleWatch, change colours or send your heartbeat. Macworld.com's Jason Snell says it's "weird stuff," and it certainly seems a bit gimmicky!
We'll continue updating this article as Apple makes further announcements about the Apple Watch. You can read all of the Apple Watch rumours from before the announcement by going to page 2.
Apple Watch: How many smartwatches will Apple sell?
The Apple Watch may sell fewer than the iPad did because the iPad didn’t require an iPhone, while the Watch does, however, that's not stopped analysts making various estimations abotu how many watches Apple will sell.
Analyst’s Apple Watch sales estimates for 2015 currently range from 10 million to 60 million. That 60 million figure is a little extreme – to put things in perspective in the first year it was on sale the iPad sold 14.8 million units. Read about whether the Apple Watch will be a flop here.
Respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has an excellent track record for Apple predictions, thinks Apple will ship 2.8 million Apple Watch units next quarter.
The Apple Watch could account for 36% of all Apple’s revenue growth in 2015, according to Evercore analyst Rob Cihra. He forecasts that Apple will ship 18.5 million Apple Watches before the end of the year, and another 22.9 million in 2016.
Apple Watch: What is the market for Apple's watch
Who will buy the Apple Watch is a big question. Aside from Apple fanatics, who would want to wear this high priced smartwatch?
A Quartz survey of US smartphone users has found that 2.2% of iPhone owners are “extremely likely” to buy an Apple Watch. Another 3.2% are “very likely” to buy Apple’s watch while 14.3% are they’re “somewhat likely”. That leaves 18.9% who are “not so likely”, and 61.4% who state that they are “not at all likely” to buy one.
Another survey by Morgan Stanley back in November, predicted 30 million Apple Watches will sell in 2015 based on their AlphaWise survey, which “indicates initial purchase intentions in the US are higher than they were for the iPhone and iPad pre-launch." Morgan Stanley predicts that at launch the Apple Watch will have a 10% penetration rate, compared to the iPhone, which had a 7% rate and the iPad, with 14%.
Yet another poll of 4,000 people in the UK, US, India and China by UBS suggested that 10% of smartphone users are “very likely” to buy a smart watch. The Apple Watch was likely to be purchased by 25% of positive respondents. However, that survey suggests that the Samsung Gear is the most likely device to be purchased at 37%.
According to the Quartz poll, the high cost (starting at $349/estimated at £300) was one reason for the lack of interest. Of those interested in buying an Apple Watch, 60.1% said they would not pay more than $200, while 25.7% said they would pay $200-$299, and 8.6% were happy to pay from $300-$399.
A two-party survey of 8,266 consumers done in May and October by Futuresource Consulting found that interest in smartwatches had soared in recent months, even as it has stalled for smart glasses. Much of the uptick in interest in smartwatches coincided with Apple's announcement in September that it would begin selling the Apple Watch in early 2015.
When Futuresource asked 4,000 consumers in the US, UK, France and Germany in May whether they intend to buy wearable tech, 4% expressed interest in a smartwatch. That number more than doubled to 9% in a follow up survey of 4,266 consumers in October.
As for iPhone owners asked in May about their wearable tech buying plans, 6% wanted a smartwatch. That number almost tripled to 17% in October – a month after the Apple Watch announcement.
Futuresource has predicted 51 million wearable devices of all types will be sold in 2014, with 74 million sold in 2015. Even though that number is rising, it still remains a small portion of the 1 billion-plus smartphones that will be sold in 2014.
One way to estimate how many watches Apple might sell is to look at how many people wear watches. The Quartz poll asked how many in the polled group wore a watch, and whether it was a permium product. It found that half of those surveyed wear a watch, but of those, only 17.2% wear a luxury brand. Premium watch brands were worn by 44.1%.
Another group of people who might be interested in the Apple Watch are those who already wear an activity tracker. According to a separate Morgan Stanley survey, 6% of those polled currently own a wearable device, including fitness trackers.
Those interested in getting the most out of their connected home appliances may also be interested in the Apple Watch. One trend that the Apple Watch is likely to be at the forefront of is the Internet of Things, and IDC predicts that this new market will be worth $7 trillion by 2020. The research agency (that is a sister company to Macworld publisher IDG) states that the worldwide IoT install base will see a compound annual growth rate of 17.5 percent between 2013 and 2020.
Another area likely to boost the popularity of the Apple Watch is health care. In a Morgan Stanley’s survey, 62% of those polled said they had already made significant changes to their lifestyles due to their wearable devices.
How successful will the Apple Watch be?
T-Mobile CEO John Legere has predicted that the launch of the Apple Watch will "mark the tipping point when wearables go from niche to mainstream." He referred to Transparency Market Research, which has predicted that the wearables market could see $20 billion in sales over the next few years.
Read on to see what we expected from the Apple Watch prior to Apple's unveiling of the product in September 2014...