Apple Watch is still a maturing product category for Apple, and that shows in the adoption data. According to CNBC, Apple says a whole 70% of Apple Watch customers are buying their very first model. That means that 30% of Apple Watch customers are actually upgrading from older models, but Apple hasn’t fully tapped into the upgrade pool yet.
Instead, Apple Watch has focused on adding key features with each version — GPS and swim tracking, cellular connectivity, ECG and fall detection, and the new always-on display — but even Apple Watch Series 4’s redesign didn’t open the flood gates of upgraders.
Apple is still growing the customer base (while dominating marketshare) which makes sense for a product still in its relative infancy compared to iPhone and iPad.
Aside from the redesign that we saw last year, Apple hasn’t fundamentally evolved the Apple Watch since the first version either. If that’s something coming in the future, perhaps we could see upgrade customers reach higher numbers. But for now, buyers are enjoying their Apple Watch, and every Apple Watch model sold since Series 1 still has support for watchOS software updates.
Of course, that data likely doesn’t include Apple Watch Series 5 yet. Apple opened orders for the brand new Apple Watch last week, but the new model won’t hit stores until Friday.
Meanwhile, Apple has also significantly lowered the entry price for iPhone users to become Apple Watch customers. The new $199 price for the Apple Watch Series 3 bests Fitbit’s fitness tracker for the same price, adding GPS and deeper iPhone integration.
Read our review of the now $199 Apple Watch Series 3 plus our roundup of the first Apple Watch Series 5 reviews. 9to5Mac will have a full review of the new Apple Watch Series 5 in the coming days.
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About the Author
Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the weekly 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast and 9to5Mac Daily podcast.