Is the iWatch Craze the Real Deal, or a Hyped Up Media Invention?

Not even a month ago, Apple released their highly anticipated iWatch. As with any Apple product launch, everyone is going nuts for this thing – and it isn’t even available for purchase just yet. Plus, this is Apple’s first major release since the iPad. You would expect, then, that all terms associated with iWatch would be driving tons of website traffic; a veritable golden apple of a traffic-driving keyword (sorry, pun definitely intended).

At SimilarWeb we know that things aren’t always as they appear on the surface, and this holds especially true for website and app performance. That’s why we’re obsessed with data: because data doesn’t lie.

We used SimilarWeb to find out who are the real beneficiaries of the iWatch hype in terms of traffic. Is the buzz for real and will it last? What do our findings say about the longevity of Apple’s newest product? Read on to find out.

 

 Traffic Boosts: Who’s Benefiting

Here’s a look at some of the sites getting their fair share of traffic from the iWatch. Most of them are mainstream news sites with a select few geared towards the tech crowd, which speaks volumes about Apple’s overwhelmingly strong brand presence.

iwatch search terms

 

It’s clear that interest in the Apple Watch has been on the rise throughout the year. In the last 28 days, it was the 49th most popular keyword driving search traffic to news sites. But as we can see from Google trends, interest in the product peaked following the iWatch release event on March 9…and quickly subsided soon after.

So despite a 25% increase in traffic from the search term, buzz about the iWatch died down pretty quickly just a few days after the product was released.

iwatch interest over time

 

Apple Products are Always Hot, but Some More than Others

Now let’s take a look at arguably one of our most popular features on SimilarWeb’s advanced platform – Popular Pages. For this analysis we took a look at Popular Pages for the past 28 days on the Apple website. Unsurprisingly, the coveted watch saw a boost in rank to become the 8th most popular page.

apple.com popular pages

 

Again, there was a considerable spike in traffic the day after the iWatch was officially presented to the world on March 9th. The day of the event, Apple.com saw a 45% increase in traffic, compared to the two preceding weeks. Total number of visits reached more than 20 million – an impressive feat, even for Apple.

apple.com desktop traffic

 

But just how impressive? While 20.2 million is a huge boost, it’s less than half of 46.6 million – the number of desktop visits to Apple following the release of the iPhone 6 (and 6 Plus) in 2014. That release generated a 310% increase in site traffic, far greater than the 45% increase driven by the Apple Watch.

daily visits to apple.com

 

So perhaps consumers aren’t quite so enamored with the idea of the Apple Watch as we had originally thought. Case in point: look at all the Apple-related topics we found when looking at the Popular Pages of tech news site TechCrunch:

techcrunch popular pages

 

For the past 28 days (from March 24 onwards), iWatch articles were popular – but not as the media hype would have you believe. In fact, the most popular article on the subject – Apple’s liveblog of the launch – only managed to reach 14th place. Articles focusing on the MacBook’s lack of ports and Apple’s decision to negate the right-click proved far more popular.

 

Be on the ‘Watch’ for a Little More iWatch Buzz

So what does all of this mean? Just by looking at the traffic stats and Popular Pages, it’s clear that the public is interested in Apple’s latest product…just not quite as interested as they were for some of their other products. Any time Apple launches a new product, there will always be a lot of chatter and interest. But unlike the ubiquoutous iPhone, not everyone wants the watch, no matter how many bells and whistles it has.

Still, it’s a bit early in the game to make any bold declarations. After all, the Apple Watch isn’t even available for purchase yet. We predict that once it’s officially up for grabs, there will be rekindled interest in the iWatch for a short period of time, though we doubt it will surpass the traffic boost from the product’s initial release. And certainly, despite the brand name, the Apple Watch won’t drive as much traffic as, say, the next iPhone launch. That would be quite a feat, wouldn’t it, if the iWatch was suddenly more in demand than the iPhone? But maybe that’s a little too ambitious, even for Apple. After all, even though we’re comparing ‘apples’ to ‘apples,’ we’re really comparing apples to oranges.

*Author’s Note – a version of this article originally appeared on The Next Web

About the Author -

Ari is the Sr. Director of Corporate Marketing at SimilarWeb. He has spent the last decade in ad-tech working on the agency side of the business before jumping over to Kenshoo where he launched their marketing activities. He also led the marketing for Adquant, a Facebook ad platform, making it a top 10 Facebook PMD prior to its acquisition.

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