Apple has reportedly placed an initial order of 5-6 million examples of the Apple Watch in the run up to its April launch. However, according to research and analysis company CCS Insights, the first Apple smartwatch could sell four times that amount.
The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that Apple's Taiwan suppliers have been instructed to produce an initial run of 5-6 million watches, 50% of which will be the aluminum-bodied rubber strap Sport version and a further one-third of which will be the more substantial stainless steel Classic version. This means that although the price hasn't been confirmed -- and speculation is that it could cost thousands, rather than hundreds of dollars -- as many as 1 million 18k gold Apple Watches are also going into production.
CCS Insights is predicting that 2015 will be the year of the smartwatch and is forecasting an eight-fold increase in sales over the next 12 months. The company believes that 75 million wearable devices in total -- including clip-on cameras and health sensors -- will be snapped up by consumers and that as many as 20 million of those devices will be Apple Watches.
Data published on Wednesday, February 11 from Canalys shows that only 4.6 million smart band devices shipped globally over the course of 2014 and that of that number just 720,000 were Android Wear smartwatches. It too is forecasting that shipments and sales are posed for explosive growth once the Apple Watch goes on sale in April.
However, despite the initial excitement, there is a chance that Apple is still searching for its smartwatch's ‘killer app' and, according to the Wall Street Journal, the watch initially had an even bigger focus on health, but features such as blood pressure tracking were dropped because they were either too complex, weren't sufficiently reliable or would have meant that the watch needed to gain FAA approval to go on sale.
As it is, Apple has invited a host of developers currently working on Apple Watch apps into the company to help get them finished and perfectly polished in time for the device's retail launch.