The Apple Watch has garnered mixed reviews in the tech press, and Apple hasn't yet said how many people have bought it so far. But a new survey suggests that customers outside the tech industry really, really like it — perhaps even more than the original iPad and iPhone.
In a recent survey of 800 Apple Watch users, 97% said they were very or somewhat satisfied with the watch, according to Wristly, a company independent from Apple that studies the Apple Watch. And almost 90% said they felt the Apple Watch was worth, or more than worth its cost, which starts at $350.
People who don't work in tech, a demographic that comprised most of the survey's respondents, reported the highest levels of satisfaction — 73%. Tech industry employees and app builders reported lower satisfaction levels: 63% and 43%, respectively. The Apple Watch's high number of nontraditional early adopters surprised Ben Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies who helped conduct the Wristly survey.
"Rarely in such an early product do we see this many mainstream users get into this category, which speaks to the depth and breadth and maturity of Apple's ecosystem," Bajarin told BuzzFeed News.
Altogether, customer happiness with the watch supposedly exceeded satisfaction levels with the first iPad in 2010, and even the first iPhone in 2007, according to Wristly's survey.
Still, it remains to be seen whether all this goodwill translates into high sales — a figure that Wall Street analysts will only be able to guess at during Apple's quarterly earnings report Tuesday. Apple has said it will not break out the Apple Watch's revenue, but instead include it in an "other" category that pools revenue from the iPod, Apple TV, Beats Electronics, and accessories.
Last quarter, that "other" revenue totaled $1.7 billion, minus the watch, which hadn't gone on sale yet. That figure will certainly go up this quarter, Bajarin said, but it's anyone's guess as to how much will be due to the watch.
To be sure, not every aspect of the Apple Watch has drawn rave reviews. Wristly's survey found, for instance, that 12% of respondents were less than satisfied with the device's performance speed and battery life. That's something Apple is hoping to address with a new operating system that lets developers build apps that work directly on the Watch instead of on the iPhone.
"Clearly, for a version-one product, there's room for improvement," Bajarin said.