Apple Watch Owners Want Internet Connections Without Smartphones

As part of the Internet of Things, devices like smartwatches are moving to become standalone items, freed from the tethering to a smartphone.

Earlier this week, Samsung launched its Gear S2 Classic 3G smartwatch with Italian telecommunications provider TIM. That smartwatch doesn’t need a phone for Internet connectivity.

Apple is up next, although the coming iteration of the company’s smartwatch may not yet have that complete capability, even though current owners of Apple watches seem to want it.

The majority (69%) of Apple Watch owners say that the ability for the next Apple Watch to directly access the Internet without a smartphone is a critical feature or an important upgrade, according to a new study by Fluent.

However, the feature is not that critical or important for the majority (57%) of consumers overall.

While the latest version of its smartwatch is expected to be unveiled by Apple this month, it doesn’t look like consumers are waiting for it on the edge of their seats.

Except current Apple Watch owners, that is.

The announcement of a new watch by Apple is not seen as a big deal to most (79%) consumers, based on the study.

However, it is a big deal to the majority (59%) of those who already have an Apple Watch, according to the survey of 1,700 U.S. adults, 88% of whom own a smartphone.

Of those who own another smartwatch brand, only 25% see the coming new Apple entry as a big deal.

Of those who have a smartwatch, more have a non-Apple brand than those with an Apple Watch. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 13% -- Other smartwatch
  • 8% -- Apple Watch
  • 80% -- No smartwatch

As might be expected, most (62%) with an Apple Watch anticipate that the new one will be better than others on the market, while 79% of those with another brand expect it to be about the same or worse. Only 21% expect it to be an improvement, according to the survey.

Apple seems to be doing quite well from a customer loyalty standpoint. Of those with an Apple Watch, 70% expect their next watch to also come from Apple. This compares to 24% who own a different brand.

Even if the Apple Watch doesn’t dominate the smartwatch market, it sure is front of mind for those already in its smartwatch camp.

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