A Month With the Apple Watch

After one month of observing Apple Watch users and reviewing their diary entries, we’re starting to identify richer insights and a focus to our findings—users are gaining momentum and getting into a rhythm with their Apple Watches. Now, much like after one week of use, we continue to see both emotional and behavioral implications among our respondents, ages 13-65. Here are some of the more notable findings:

Millennials Express Dissatisfaction and Guilt

The Watch Gets Personal

More Utility, Less Fashion

The Watch is Dead.
Long Live the Watch


Emotions are getting deeper. For some, this means more disappointment; for others, a more personal connection with their watches is being forged. A few have named their watches and several talk to them.

What we started to witness in our previous Sour Notes finding has become even more evident for millennials after one month with the watch. Many now claim the thrill is gone for them, and the Apple Watch encroaches on their prized phone relationship. Expectations aren’t being met. They are frustrated and disappointed. Further, there is a strange guilt or psychological discomfort over owning, wearing and using the watch. It is not (yet?) a necessity, so the watch seems frivolous and nonessential. Although people like it, a few feel bad about liking it.


Millennials are dependent on their phones, which are their primary devices. They have high expectations and low patience with technology, and many don’t remember issues related to the earliest iPhones. Their friends are not yet using the watch, which limits their social interest. Some shun ostentatious symbols of wealth or luxury, which may contribute to their feelings of guilt.

Our earlier Master and Servant respondents finding has evolved and advanced. Respondents are now personalizing and customizing their Apple Watches, from the face to the text replies. One person flipped the settings and named the watch. Many of our respondents talk to their watches—or talk back at them, saying “I can’t stand up now,” “Stop telling me that,” etc.


It is building on the relationship between watch and user, as detailed in our Master and Servant finding from Week 1. The watch is personal; it offers seamless dictation, customization and a better version of Siri. Its predictive and responsive reminders involve and engage users. People are physically close to their watches (it’s on their body) and feel close to it as well. Being on their phone less also allows people to focus more on using the watch.


The watch continues to affect user behavior in interesting ways. It solves problems at work or on the go and makes life easier. For many on our panel, the device has easily become their de facto go-to watch, replacing previous watches or becoming habit for those who have previously never worn a watch.

After one week, we reported our finding about people using their phones less with Dependent on Yet Replacing the iPhone. For some, we are now seeing that the watch not only replaces the phone, but also is an improvement. From a salesman walking through a showroom to a busy mom, the fuss of pulling the phone out of your pocket or purse is eliminated, making it easier to stay connected with the watch. It offers a practical solution that tangibly helps people.


Using the Apple Watch offers real-world efficiencies. For some, it offers quality and efficiency improvement by offering practical fixes to everyday life situations. The looks of the watch are secondary in this case; what people appreciate is how it works.

Building off two of our earlier findings, Dependent on Yet Replacing the iPhone and The Watch is Magic, it is clear that for most of our panel, the Apple Watch has replaced their previous timepieces. It’s on the body from morning until night and has easily taken over as the everyday watch. It’s comfortable and the battery lasts the whole day (or longer). People feel that the more time they put into their watch, the more they get out of it.


The well-considered ergonomics of the watch play a large role here. Most find the watch extremely comfortable and easy to wear. Additionally, the watch does a lot more than tell time, giving people multiple reasons to use it. With its reminders, trackers, and dictation features, the watch is addictive.


An interesting collection of insights has manifested after one month of using the Apple Watch. Based both on what people said and what they are doing with the watch, we also wanted to share the following points: There is currently a weak ecosystem supporting the watch in that few have friends with the watch, the third-party apps available still seem underwhelming, and few retailers seem to accept Apple Pay or promote the fact that they do. Interestingly, the watch, even when Apple Pay is being used, raises no data/security concerns with our panel. Apple Watch also has a subtlety to it, both in how it looks and how it helps users.

We’re also seeing positive reactions to how the watch feels on the body as well as its great ergonomic appeal. Users also demonstrate smart awareness about how the watch connects to the iPhone and which device alerts for what. The Apple Watch “Twist” (the gesture for checking the watch) is addictive and some have started to “twist” their phones out of habit, to no effect. Finally, the watch is a male. (“It’s definitely a dude.”)


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