Apple CEO Tim Cook's favorite measure of his company's success is customer satisfaction. It makes sense—if your customers love your products, you're probably doing a good job, and they'll be more likely to recommend them to friends, which is another key sales metric.
The iPhone and iPad frequently score as high as 99% on customer satisfaction surveys, something Cook and other Apple executives like to mention during earnings calls. However, it's been three since the Apple Watch launched, and we haven't seem any significant surveys on how buyers feel about their new wrist computers.
Apple Watch research platform Wristly and research and analysis site Techpinions teamed up and talked to 800 Apple Watch owners to get their thoughts. Despite a load of negative sentiment on the Apple Watch over the past couple weeks, it seems that for (a relatively small number of) people who have actually bought an Apple Watch, it's a lovely device.
Some 97% of Apple Watch owners surveyed were very (66%) or somewhat (31%) satisfied, with only 3% expressing neutral or negative feelings. Research from the first year after the iPhone and iPad launched saw customer satisfaction rates of 92% and 91% respectively.
This puts the Apple Watch a fair bit higher than those other two product categories—both of which, if we're honest, had a lot of faults when they first launched. They've gotten much better over the years, but it's a good reminder that early-generation Apple products are probably best left to early adopters—and that the Apple Watch will probably be significantly better in about three years.
Even more impressive, the survey found that the less tech-savvy a user was, the more they liked the device. Fully 73% of self-described "non tech users" were delighted with the Watch, while just 43% of "app builders" felt delighted.
Starting at $350 and $400 (depending on screen size), the Apple Watch is significantly more expensive than many of the popular exercise-focused wrist devices. But again, buyers don't seem perturbed. 73% of buyers felt their Apple Watch was a good value, with an additional 14% thinking it was a very good value. Just 12% felt it was overpriced. Curiously, owners of the more-expensive Apple Watch felt better about the price of their purchase than owners of the cheaper Apple Watch Sport.
As is often the case with Apple products, design and build qualify scored very highly, as did ease of use and features. These latter two categories scored higher on "somewhat satisfied" vs. "very satisfied," showing that there's room for improvement there.
Apple's plans for WatchOS 2—expected to launch publicly this fall—includes the ability to have dedicated apps on the Watch, and it could help in the ease of use and feature categories.
The Watch saw lower scores regarding its performance and batteries, likely because of its need to charge nightly and the fact that third-party apps generally take between 5 and 10 seconds to launch.
Ben Bajarin with Techpinions has extensive analysis of the survey, including more in-depth conversations with some of the people who participated. He notes that early adopters who think a lot about their tech were much more critical of the Apple Watch. On the other hand, non-techies loved the Watch. Says Bajarin: "It was almost as if the farther away people were from tech or the tech industry, the more they liked the Apple Watch."
While we don't know how many Apple Watches have been sold, and we likely won't get an announcement during Apple's June Quarter earnings call today, the survey results show that buyers are quite pleased with Apple's newest product. Don't be surprised if Tim Cook mentions customer satisfaction numbers for the Apple Watch!
What are your impressions of the Apple Watch three months after launch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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Jordan Golson is an Apple Columnist for TechRepublic. He also writes about technology and automobiles for WIRED and MacRumors. He has worked for Apple Retail twice and has been writing about technology since 2007.