Small survey suggests Apple Watch owners who ditched device disliked feature set

By Aditi Pai

Wristly, a relatively new research firm that aims to provide independent research on the Apple Watch, has released a small survey that includes data from Apple Watch owners who were dissatisfied with the product.

The survey, of 330 Apple Watch owners, found that about half of users ditched their device within two weeks. A majority of those that ditched their device in this time tossed it in a drawer, while a smaller percentage sold it, and even smaller percentages of owners returned it to Apple or gave it to a family member. 

The top five reasons people stopped using the device include that it did provide enough value; the feature set was too limited; it was too slow; the battery didn't last long enough; and that having to tilt the watch to view the time was annoying.

One of the issues Wristly listed, Apple Watch's limited feature set, was discussed by many in the healthcare space when the watch was first announced. Earlier this year, in February, a report was published that offers some rationale for the discrepancy: Apple initially planned a much more ambitious health device, but concerns around accuracy and regulation stymied those plans.

Other reasons that were listed in the Wristly survey, which even fewer people agreed with, include that it was too hard to use; they simply didn't like wearing it; and that they just missed their old watch.

Wristly's first survey, which was released in October, questioned a much larger sample, 1,500 Apple Watch owners. The survey found that 83 percent of the Apple Watch owners surveyed said the device at least somewhat contributes to their overall health and fitness. Just under 60 percent of respondents said the watch contributes to some change in their health and fitness and 24 percent said the device contributed to a lot of change.

The survey also found that 12 percent of respondents said the Apple Watch’s fitness capabilities were the primary reason they bought it, while 48 percent said these capabilities were at least one of the main reasons.

Though some Apple Watch owners are dissatisfied with the product, the Apple Watch seems to be a popular item heading into the holiday season. Earlier this week, Target announced that in it's pre-Black Friday sale, that two of the five most popular electronics items that consumers bought online were the Apple Watch and the Fitbit Charge HR.