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Apple Watch a year later: What owners really think

Fitness tracking and notifications are the most used features on Apple's first wearable, says a poll from ad technology company Fluent.

The Apple Watch is much more than just a watch for many of its owners, says a new poll.
James Martin/CNET

For many Apple Watch owners, the gadget wrapped around their wrist is much more than just a watch.

Around 80 percent of Apple Watch owners said they use the device for fitness tracking and notifications, according to survey results released Friday by advertising technology company Fluent. Listening to music is popular among 77 percent. Exchanging emails and instant messages is on the list of 66 percent. Using the watch to purchase items via Apple Pay is also a favorite activity among 61 percent of those polled.

The Apple Watch has become the dominant player in the growing market for smartwatches. The company faces competition from other manufacturers, and many people don't yet don't see smartwatches as must-have items. But Apple's first wearable has generated greater interest in the category.

Though the Apple Watch may be seen as a "fashion" item, only 11 percent of watch owners said they bought the watch for fashion reasons. Convenience was listed as the reason for owning the watch by 46 percent of those polled, while the device's features were deemed an important factor by 31 percent.

Fluent conducted the Apple Watch survey in the US on April 5 among more then 2,578 adults. A total of 197, or 8 percent, of those polled said they own the watch.

Around half of those polled said they believe the majority of people will wear smartwatches 10 years from now, while 75 percent of current Apple Watch owners echoed the same forecast.

Now playing: Watch this: Will the Apple Watch 2 get stuck on the S cycle?

The Apple Watch isn't expected to undergo a major refresh of its external design until 2017, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a Monday investors note grabbed by blog site Apple Insider. A new version of the watch will land in 2016, but it will sport mostly internal refinements, according to Kuo, who said he expects to see "spec improvements with limited changes to form factor design."