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Millennials Aren't So Into the Apple Watch

Millennials were more excited about the HBO Now and Apple TV announcements than the Apple Watch, based on an analysis of twitter sentiment.

The Apple Watch may suffer from a generation gap.

Social media conversations around the Apple Watch’s launch revealed that millennials — those age 18 to 34 — were far more excited about the HBO Now streaming service and the Apple TV price cut than the Apple Watch, according to an analysis of nearly one million tweets about the event.

“This is a generation that loves their TV but they don’t want to consume it in traditional ways,” said Ben Carlson, president of social media research company Fizziology that conducted the study. “I think the announcement by Apple really spoke to them — the lower price point on Apple TV, the near immediate availability of HBO Now.”

Fizziology used statistical sampling to measure the sentiment expressed in some 706,280 tweets immediately before, during and after Apple’s launch event in San Francisco.

The conversation revealed a generational split, with those age 35 and over twice as likely to discuss the Apple Watch than those under 35. Carlson said this may suggest that consumers in the 35-to-49-year-old range are more likely to be in the market for a potentially pricey timepiece — prices range from $349 to as much as $17,000 for the gold-bling Apple Watch Edition. Younger professionals and college students, alternatively, were looking for new ways to watch HBO shows like “Game of Thrones.”

 Research firm Fizziology conducted a sentiment analysis of tweets around the Apple Watch launch. Here’s what it found.
Research firm Fizziology conducted a sentiment analysis of tweets around the Apple Watch launch. Here’s what it found.

About one out of six tweets were negative, Fizziology found, with many of these comments criticizing the price or expressing the desire not to associate with anyone who would wear a gadget that so conspicuously conveys wealth.


More than a third of the Apple Watch Twitter posts reflected a strong positive reaction to Apple’s first foray into wearable devices, with people singling out specific features that appealed to them, such as the keyless entry into a hotel room, or simply indicating they were smitten.

Fizziology found almost universal positive reception to Apple’s news about the price of the Apple TV dropping to $69 from $99, and its introduction of the new, super-svelte MacBook.

Carlson notes that social media conversation around the iPad debut in 2010 generated more negative reaction than the Apple Watch, with Twitter commenters poking fun at the name (equating it with a feminine hygiene product) and questioning its usefulness. Of course, Apple has gone on to sell some 258 million tablets.

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