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© Apple (illustration purposes only!) Analysis | March 12, 2015

Success of Apple Watch hinges on China

Huge consumer demand is making China the key market for success for Apple’s new smartwatch, according to a global survey of the element14 Community's 300'000 electronics engineers.
Huge consumer demand is making China the key market for success for Apple’s new smartwatch, with as many as 50 percent of adults in China planning to purchase a smartwatch within the next five years. The data is courtesy of the Engineering A Connected World study from the element14 Community.

The appetite for wearables is considerably higher in China than in other regions Apple is targeting at launch, as confirmed by the survey of 3'500 adults in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Sixteen percent of adults in the US and UK intend to purchase a smartwatch, with the data showing similarly low interest in Australia (18 percent), France (19 percent) and Germany (26 percent).

Consumer demand is greatest in India, one of the countries where the Apple Watch is not set to launch, where 53 percent of adults cited a desire to purchase such a device.

Apple’s expansion in Asia was highlighted by the company’s most recent quarterly earnings report (PDF). According to the figures, Apple’s last quarter may have seen iPhone sales in China outperform those in the US for the first time in the product’s eight-year history.

The element14 Community research suggests that momentum could continue with the launch of the Apple Watch, and Apple sales in China could eventually eclipse those of Europe.

“We are committed to connecting engineers to each other, to big ideas and to the latest technologies, so understanding reactions to and demand for new technologies is critical to fulfill our mission,” said Christian Defeo, e-supplier and innovation manager for element14. “When we look back at this launch a year from now, we expect to see that China, rather than Apple's traditional markets, will have driven the growth from a consumer adoption standpoint.”

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