Apple iWatch Fans Want WiFi, GPS Capability

While Apple's rumored smart watch is not yet an actual product, a survey suggests consumers want the device to have WiFi capabilities.

The five most coveted Apple iWatch features are, in order of preference, email and text capabilities, the ability to receive incoming calls, GPS and maps integration, WiFi technology and weather updates, according a survey of U.S. consumers by online shopping site BuyVia.

The survey found that nearly one-quarter (26 percent) of respondents said they are interested in purchasing the watch, while 38 percent said they are not interested in purchasing, and 36 percent are unsure if they’d purchase it. Earlier reports said the Bluetooth-enabled device would feature a 1.5-inch organic LED screen and be able to communicate with other Apple devices such as the iPad or iPhone.

"While consumers are seemingly divided about their desire to own the rumored Apple iWatch, it’s fascinating that the most desired features for the watch mirror popular iPhone capabilities," BuyVia CEO and co-founder Norman Fong said in a statement. "It’s as though consumers are only interested in a watch that offers everything the smartphone does, only in a more convenient package. What they seem to crave is a way to more easily access iPhone features everywhere they go."

The survey also queried consumers on their preferences for a low-cost version of Apple’s best-selling iPhone handset, finding 39 percent of respondents were interested in a cheaper iPhone. However, one-third (33 percent) said they were not interested, and 28 percent were uncertain.

Of the 39 percent who are interested in purchasing the less expensive iPhone, 46 percent of respondents said it would have to be under $100 with a new two-year commitment and 38 percent said that it would have to be under $200 with a new two-year commitment. Competing smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S II and III, Droid, Windows Phone 8x and BlackBerry Z10 and Bold all are under $200 with a two-year commitment, the report noted.

Of those interested in a less expensive iPhone, 31 percent are willing to give up Siri’s voice recognition, followed by the current aluminum back plate, which they would sacrifice for a cheaper material such as plastic, and their 4G network. The three features consumers would not give up for a cheaper iPhone are battery life, storage capacity and the 8-megapixel camera with panorama.

The Apple iPhone 5 became the world's best-selling smartphone worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2012—a distinction that Samsung's Galaxy S III held during the third quarter. Apple not only out-sold Samsung's most popular Galaxy device with the iPhone 5, but it did it with the iPhone 4S, as well, research firm Strategy Analytics reported Feb. 20. Together, the iPhones accounted for one in five of the smartphones that shipped worldwide during the quarter.