Apple's reputation for producing desirable electronics also extends to its wearable device efforts, according to a new survey from Juniper Research.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based maker of the Apple Watch ranked as the "coolest brand" for wearable technology among 2,031 smartphone users in the U.S. and the U.K., followed by Samsung and Google. Other notable technology brands include LG in 4th place, Sony in 5th. Microsoft, maker of the Band fitness wearable, landed in a distant 13th place behind luxury fashion house Chanel.
In general, fashion brands ranked lower than technology brands. Not a single fashion or sports brand garnered the support of more than 3 percent of respondents. Nike is the highest-ranking in 6th place, followed by Rolex in 7th and Under Armour in 8th.
Apple is a relative newcomer to the wearables market. Although announced in September 2014, the company's smartwatch hit store shelves on April 24. This summer, the Canalys research group estimated that Apple shipped 4.2 million Watches during the second quarter of 2015 and it is largely expected to lead the market by many analysts.
Yet, with a starting price of $349 for the Watch Sport, most consumers may end up passing up Apple's smartwatch. Juniper found that just 20 percent, or one in five consumers, are willing to part with more than $175 for a wearable.
"As well as a more definite use, fitness devices also win on value," said Juniper Research analyst James Moar in a statement. "They are the least costly wearables in the market, and the only category consistently under $175, which our survey identifies as the price ceiling for most consumers."
Echoing the dominance of iOS and Android smartphone market, Juniper observed that the market for smartwatches is "moving towards a duopoly of Apple-Samsung - with over 75 percent of respondents preferring either Apple or Samsung." The latter offers a range of smartwatches including the Gear S2 and the cellular-connected Gear S.
Device makers struggling to stuff long-lasting batteries into their tiny wearables will find some comfort in Juniper's findings. Only 4 percent of respondents said they would avoid purchasing a wearable due to battery life concerns. Finally, iPhone and iPad users are more likely to purchase a wearable device compared to Android users, Juniper found.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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