Almost half (46%) of consumers are aware of the Apple Watch launch, according to a new study from research firm GFK.
GFK said that the figure was an “impressive” number for a new product launch and that it reflects Apple’s dominance in the consumer technology category.
Overall, the study found that 19% of consumers are ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ interested in the launch, while 20% are ‘fairly’ interested. Those in the age category of 25 to 34 are the most likely to be extremely or very interested (34%).
Some 56% of current smartphone owners are extremely or very interested compared with 12% of non-owners, while 61% of those ‘intending’ to buy are also extremely or very interested, compared with 17% of non-owners.
The study also found that 27% of Apple fans are extremely or very interested in the launch, as are 29% of owners of other Apple devices.
At 12%, intention to purchase a smartwatch ranks sixth after a smartphone, tablet, laptop, games console and smart TV. However, one third (32%) of people that already own a smartwatch intend to buy one, compared to 11% of non-owners – suggesting that once customers have had a smartwatch, they recognise the benefits of the device.
The research, which was conducted before the launch, found that 57% of prospective buyers were waiting until the launch of the Apple Watch before deciding which smartwatch or fitness brand to buy.
Anne Giulianotti, joint-head of technology at GfK said: “Apple is a much loved and admired brand so it’s no wonder that many potential smartwatch buyers are delaying their decision on what to buy until the launch of its device on 24th April.
“In Q1 2015, smartwatches made up 7% of the wearable tech category. With the launch of Apple’s watch in a few days, we expect that figure to rise as people see what one of the world’s favourite tech brands has to offer.”
However the study also found that consumer expectations of the cost are way below the actual price.
The majority (73%) of people interested in the launch of the watch said they are prepared to spend up to £299, the price of the small sports version of the smartwatch. Some 17% are prepared to spend between £300-£399, and one in ten (10%) are prepared to pay £400 or more – closer to the £479 price tag of the basic standard Apple smartwatch.