According to a NextWorth survey, the Apple Watch 2 could sell as many as 6 million units in the few weeks following its release.
The survey company spoke to 540 current smartwatch and fitness tracker owners to find out whether they intended to buy an Apple Watch 2.
Survey suggests stellar sales figures for Apple Watch 2
“The Apple Watch 2 is predicted to sell more devices in the first 6 months than the original device has sold since it’s launch,” said a NextWorth representative.
The survey found that 50% of Apple Watch owners plan to upgrade to the Apple Watch 2, and 22% of non-smartwatch owners are planning to purchase one in 2016. Another recent survey by Wristly found that 94% of Apple Watch owners are happy with their wearable.
Data from Strategy Analytics showed that around 13.6 million Apple Watch units have been sold. This is far more than the number of first generation iPhones sold by Apple, and is even more impressive when you think that the wearable was only available to people who already owned an iPhone.
Launch of new wearable device predicted for this fall
The report from NextWorth suggests that existing customers will buy 6.8 million Apple Watch 2 units. Most customers also buy 2 or 3 different straps for their wearable, which adds more money to the company coffers.
Apple financial results could be in for a timely boost, with the Apple Watch 2 launch predicted for September or October.
The survey also provides some interesting information on usage of the Apple Watch. One of the most interesting findings is that three months after purchase, consistent wear falls by 10% and continues to fall over time. At the same time, one-third of owners who have had their Apple Watch for over 9 months say that they wear it every day.
Health functions a priority for many users
Data suggests that the health functions do impact the lifestyle of smartwatch owners. “While consistently wearing smartwatches, owners report healthier lifestyles, including more frequent exercise, healthier eating, and healthier daily habits such as walking more or taking the stairs,” reads the report.
The survey also asked owners what improvements would make them use their devices more often. Fifty-seven per cent want better battery life, while 37% suggested that easier or faster charging would encourage them to use the device more.
Of the respondents, 36% thought a more stylish design would encourage use, while 31% cited WiFi connectivity. Health features were also given major importance, with 30% asking for useful fitness apps and 26% mentioning better integration with health apps.
Survey reveals priorities for Apple Watch owners
Faster switching between apps is a priority for 24% of users, while 20% would like a simpler interface. Personalization, such as custom watch faces, was mentioned by 19% of respondents, while 18% want their wearable to replace a credit card by offering payment facilities.
More accurate heart rate measurements was mentioned by 17% of respondents, and 14% want emergency alert and calls capability. Twelve per cent of respondents would like the Apple Watch 2 to include voice control, such as SIRI support.
Apple is known for responding to the wishes of its users, and the Apple Watch 2 will have a number of new features with watchOS3. It is thought that software improvements will encourage customers to re-engage with existing devices.
In watchOS 3 there will be more useful fitness apps, including Breathe. The new operating system will offer quicker switching between apps, a better user interface, more customization and Apple Pay support. Fitness bands do not support contactless payments.
It looks like Apple Watch 2 will be thinner than the first generation, and could have WiFi connectivity built in. It seems that native apps will be faster, and some are speculating that there will be more models available. Another rumor is that the device could have its own cellular connection, enabling it to stand alone.
According to IDC, smartwatch sales have declined by 55% as consumers wait to see what will happen with the Apple Watch 2. The second generation wearable could enable Apple to consolidate its lead in the smartwatch market if the company can respond to the desires of its users.
The Apple Watch 2 will face competition from the Samsung Gear S3, which is reportedly going to feature a number of sensors designed to make it more useful for outdoor enthusiasts. It appears that Samsung is trying to tempt fitness band owners to invest in a smartwatch by offering a better suite of health functions.
For smartwatch makers the challenge remains in convincing consumers that wearables are an essential item. Up until now they have been considered a nice-to-have, and it looks set to remain that way.