Apple iWatch eyed by 14% of those polled

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Designer Todd Hamilton sketches out different possible versions of the iWatch.Todd Hamilton

Around 14 percent of people polled would pick up an Apple iWatch priced at $350, says investment firm Piper Jaffray.

The 14 percent interested in an iWatch compares with the 12 percent last October and the 17 percent of teens this past spring who echoed the same sentiment about an Apple smartwatch. Surveying 100 people over the past month regarding watches and wearable tech, the Piper Jaffray team targeted mostly consumers in North America with an average age of 32 and a household income of $130,000.

Reports have been rampant that Apple plans to dive into the still nascent smartwatch arena with its much-rumored iWatch later this year. If true, Apple would face a host of other contenders, such as Samsung and Pebble, who so far have virtually locked up the market, at least in the US. An iWatch would also have to compete with new smartwatches from Samsung, LG, and Motorola — which may be unveiled at the Google I/O developer conference next week — that run Google’s Android Wear operating system for smartwatches and other wearable devices.

Consumers still haven’t conveyed much excitement over smartwatches, certainly not enough to truly rev up the market. The iWatch would reportedly combine a watch with a fitness band, potentially offering a more innovative product that could score well if it includes the usual Apple polish.

Among the people polled by Piper Jaffray, 18 percent said they already own a fitness band — half of those are Fitbit devices. Among those that do own a band, 56 percent wear them every day. Among those who don’t yet have a fitness band, 18 percent said they plan to buy one over the next year.



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