Majority of Apple Watch owners plan to give it as a gift: poll
By Julia Love
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - As Apple Watch enters the critical holiday shopping season, it looks likely to get a sales boost from happy customers, almost two-thirds of whom are planning to give one as a gift, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.
The poll found that about 7 percent of U.S. adults plan to give the Watch as a gift this holiday season, including current owners. That could translate to sales of up to 16 million watches over the holidays, based on 2014 U.S. Census projections and excluding younger teens.
If even a fraction of consumers follow through, Apple would be well-positioned to meet or beat Wall Street's 2015 sales forecasts, which generally range from 10 million to 12 million watches, said FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives, who expects about 12 million sold worldwide.
Cupertino, California-based Apple appears to be benefiting from its loyal fan base with its first new device since the iPad. Sixty-two percent of U.S. adults who already have an Apple Watch plan to give the gadget as a holiday gift, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll.
Holiday sales of the product will be scrutinized as a barometer of how much promise it holds for the company.
After an April debut marred by supply constraints and lukewarm demand, Apple must reassure investors of the watch's potential, said Ives.
Apple has not provided any sales figures for the watch, which has a starting price of $349, and an Apple spokesman declined to comment on the poll.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll also found that watch owners were sticking with the device, with most using it at least as much as when they bought it, but no one feature dominated. Continued...