Survey Reveals 12 Reasons Why People Gave Up on the Apple Watch

While Apple CEO Tim Cook often cites the 97% Apple Watch user satisfaction results from web-based research firm Wristly, he may not be as impressed with the results of this week’s first formal survey of dissatisfied Apple Watch customers. Wristly, that conducts weekly surveys of Apple Watch owners, was able to assembly 340 people who bought an Apple Watch and for one reason or another, stopped wearing it (via Fortune).

Screen shot 2015 12 01 at 7 52 07 am

As you can see in the above chart, the top most reasons why most people stopped wearing the Apple Watch were “not enough value” and “too limited functionality”. Creative Strategies’ Ben Bajarin, who helps design Wristly’s surveys, said “the biggest theme in the critiques was about performance”. He added that many thought the Apple Watch was too slow, particularly around data retrieval and third party apps. Some people also wished to have the watch face be visible at all times and not have to charge the Watch daily.

Below are some other interesting facts highlighted by the survey:

  • Forty-five percent gave up on the Watch within two weeks.
  • Fifty-five percent gave it more than two weeks and still didn’t like it.
  • Despite their dissatisfaction, most did not return, sell or give their Watch away.
  • Fifty percent of Apple Watch Sport (the aluminum model) owners and 65% of Apple Watch (steel) owners put their device in a drawer.
  • Thirty percent still wear their Watch from time to time.
  • Forty-one percent said they were likely (31%) or very likely (10%) to buy the next version.

Have you stopped wearing the Apple Watch? If yes, why?

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  • Jay

    I’m surprised “Tilt to see time” is above BATTERY LIFE which was my main showstopper

  • Andre

    I’m still wearing it, but until Apple Pay rolls out fully, then its only true value is to tell me the temperature at a glance, and notify me of mail/texts when the phone is in my pocket.

  • Adam Jefferson

    Still wearing mine though I don’t know if I’m overly satisfied with it. It can be frustratingly slow at times. I wear it for workouts and clicking the ‘save workout’ button is like a little game of ‘did I touch it or miss it’ since nothing happens for a while. Other apps spin..and spin…and spin…so I give up. The Weather Network app often shows me no data. Other apps say “open the app on the iPhone to continue receiving updates” which I guess I technically understand, but I feel like the watch app should use the phone’s data connection to pull the data it needs. Not have me keep opening up the app each time. Force touch is hit or miss too. And notification alerts are inconsistent – sometimes the audible alert chimes, sometimes no. And the haptic ‘tap’ for alerts? I’m not sure if I’m just numb to them now or if they’re also inconsistent.

    But I love being able to get Siri to send my texts and replies or get answers to simple queries. A quick check and triage of my emails is very useful. And the notifications to the wrist, when they work, are really nice to make a quick judgement of whether it’s something I need to action and pull out the phone or not. I sort of feel like if they stripped the watch down to these core functions and lowered the price to suit the function, I’d be more satisfied.

  • Crosseyedmofo

    still wear mine every day, feel naked without it… but i never use it


  • Ed Cicci

    I have been wearing mine everyday since I got it. I retired a perfectly good high end watch and don’t regret it. If I had had any of the concerns mentioned in the survey, I wouldn’t have bought it n the first play. Don’t these people research before they buy.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    I eagerly anticipated the Apple Watch before it was released – kind of like I looked forward to seeing the Phantom Menace. I had the same disappointment when both were released. I still wear my iPod Nano 6th gen on my wrist and I’m still as happy with it as I am with my VHS box set of Star Wars Episodes IV-VI. At least my version of the Apple Watch does something complimentary to my iPhone – it lets me listen to up to 16GB of Audiobooks and podcasts without using any of my phone’s battery life. It also tracks my steps, distance and calories burned. The new watch only has half the storage space (8GB), is thicker and not only has worse battery life, but also saps some precious battery life from the host phone. I’m not sure what Apple was trying to do. As Yoda and Steve Jobs probably would have said, there is no try. Do. Or do not.

  • websnap

    Love my watch. It’s not perfect – it can be slow loading data at time, but that is usually third party apps – but it does what I expected of it.

    I find it interesting that some of the things listed as critiques were things that they could have known had they read up on it – as one should do when purchasing expensive electronics. Things like battery life and having the watch face visible all the time is something that would have come up when looking into it.

  • websnap

    I’ve had mine on since 6am (it is now 2:30 where I am) – I’ve had two 45 minute workouts and I check it all the time and my battery is at 75%. I have all the settings on with the only customization being the volume very low.

    I think it is a reasonable expectation to charge it at the end of the day – especially since it only takes 2 hours to fully charge it. I never get past 33% so an hour usually does it.

  • Donald Willick

    340 people out of the millions sold? I think Tim Cook would be ecstatic over these numbers. The percentages mentioned are of those 340 people. Useless stats in my opinion.

  • SOB

    Pretty expensive device just to leave in the drawer collecting dust. Those people should have researched more before buying.

  • Werdner

    Do you know how statistics work?

  • Brad Fortin

    Statistics are useless if the sample size is too small. In this case the sample size is less than 0.01% of Watch owners, which isn’t enough to be statistically significant.

  • sukisszoze

    So..that’s 340 out of how many??

  • Kirk

    I’ve been wearing my Apple Watch every single day from day one. I love it for its workout aspects. I’ve been trying to complete my exercise rings daily every single day and honestly, I’m not fanboying, but I’ve noticed significant results. Maybe because I’m a fitness buff but that’s why I like my watch (and no I’m not getting a Fitbit) Not to mention picking out text notifications to reply or not reply to when I’m busy at work.. Great time saver.

  • Carlos

    Actually Brad, you’re wrong. While yes sample size does matter, it need only be n = 20 (20 subjects) to show statistical significance in most applications. A greater sample size magnifies the ability for statistical analysis to find significant differences. What is important, is that the sample must be randomly selected and representative of the population.

  • OliChabot

    Actually thinking about selling mine back. Sometimes it it just crazy slow and frustating. For the price I expected more, the features are lacking… I could go on and on.

  • karinatwork

    I’m so glad I went with the 38mm model. I’m sure by now I would have stopped wearing the bigger model. But it’s so small, light and comfy, it never bothers my wrist. I have never felt like I don’t want to wear it, and in fact, the one time I forgot to put it on I missed it so much. It has become an essential tool for me. I still think that women most benefit from it, as it’s an extension of the phone that they carry in their purse. No more missed phone calls and texts for me. I simply love that. My 13-year-old told me the other day that all his friends are jealous, because he’s the only one who gets replies from his mom instantly (for the ever important question: “Can XYZ come over after school?”) Who would have thunk…

  • That’s primarily my use for Apple Watch as well, ensuring I don’t miss texts and phone calls. There’s nothing better than being able to answer a call from the wrist (although the speaker could be louder) hands free, especially when in a situation like changing a diaper or putting our kid into his car seat.

  • Sterling Archer

    You’re not accounting for geographic differences. If they took these people from a small part of the country where their lives are not tied into technology in the same way, it skews it. Same as if they went and interviewed all the tech bloggers about it.

    The sample size needs to address a wide berth of parties using the watch, a 340 I don’t trust that was done in a sufficient manner because that number is so low.

    On top of that, people are far less likely to write up about their tech device if it’s working okay for them, less likely to take the time and energy. But people who are unhappy WILL be more inclined to do so. Again, that could be factored in to a small sample, but 340 is still really small considering how many have been sold.

    I don’t disagree with the results, however, I do see merit in what people are saying, but it seems unbelievably skewed, as do Apple’s numbers. There’s truth in these 2 figures, but neither one gives the full, true opinion.