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Apple's iWatch Sparks Limited Interest, Study Finds

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Although it hasn't even been announced yet, a survey by Piper Jaffray finds that surprisingly few folks are interested in buying an Apple smartwatch.

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Ready or not, wearables are coming. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is setting the stage for a huge push into the wearables sector with a dedicated platform called Android Wear, which is essentially a pared-down version of its ubiquitous mobile operating system. Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF), Motorola, and LG are gearing up to launch smartwatches of their own, but none are generating as many rumors as Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iWatch.
 
The preemptively dubbed iWatch hasn't been officially announced, but the device has all but been confirmed by Cupertino. Apple is long overdue for a new product line, and patents, insider leaks, and the tech trends point to an Apple-branded smartwatch most likely coming this year.
 
But while analysts and bloggers seem to be worked into a tizzy for an iWatch, a new survey by Piper Jaffray appears to confirm that the public can't seem to drudge up any excitement for such a device.
 
As reported by AppleInsider, in a survey of 100 individuals with an average age of 32 and a household income of $130,000, a mere 14% of respondents said they would be in the market for an Apple smartwatch if it were priced at $350. Of the remaining 86% who wouldn't buy an iWatch at that price, 48% said they'd consider it if the device cost $200 or less.
 
But perhaps most shocking, a whopping 41% of respondents said they had absolutely no interest in an iWatch at any price.
 
Although it can be argued that it's premature to conduct a survey about a device that's only purported to exist, this research does speak volumes about the disinterest and/or lack of education the public has on wearable technology, its function with other devices,, and the overall versatility of a polished product.
 
As it stands, wearables only have a handful of lackluster smartwatches and fitness bands on the market to showcase what the technology has to offer. If something like Samsung's lacking Galaxy Gear or Nike's (NYSE:NKE) limited fitness band is the sector's best foot forward, of course the public is wary of buying into it. The tipping point of interest won't come until Android Wear-supported devices and possibly the iWatch are released for consumers to finally wrap their heads around what a smartwatch is truly capable of.
 
Show a Bluetooth-enabled smartwatch automatically flip on the lights when a user walks through the door. Show a device displaying glanceable updates to flight information upon arriving at the airport. Show a wearable tracking heart rate, calories lost, and distance traveled while on a hiking trail. And package all of those features and more into a power-sipping device sporting a competent operating system, and that 41% will probably have a change of heart.
 
Wearables have a lot to offer consumers, but as this survey shows, they also have a lot to prove. We'll have to wait and see if Apple, Google, et. al are up to the task.
 
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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