Apple Watch launch sparks shipment speculation

Apple Watch launch sparks shipment speculation

15 APR 2015

In the absence of firm numbers, analysts began speculating on the success of Apple Watch, after the vendor launched the pre-sales process late last week.

Generating the most headlines was Slice Intelligence, which estimated that 957,000 people in the US ordered an Apple Watch on the first day, with the average buyer purchasing “1.3” units.

Most consumers – 62 per cent – purchased the entry-level Sport model, and many buyers of the mid-tier Watch often coupled this with the cheapest band. The larger watch (42mm case) made up the majority of sales, with the “space gray” aluminium case proving the most popular.

Slice’s data is generated from “e-receipts” received by opted-in buyers, from a panel of more than 2 million online shoppers.

While several observers questioned the accuracy of Slice’s numbers – which, lacking any official confirmation, could be anywhere from extremely accurate to massively wide of the mark – it does seem to indicate that Apple Watch is making a splash – something that, by-and-large, rival smartwatches have failed to do.

Reuters, meanwhile, said that various analysts had put potential sales of the device at “between 2.3 million and 4 million watches” in the quarter ended June 2015, although it was also suggested that supply (rather than demand) may prove to be a limiting factor.

This would certainly not be the first time that Apple has been unable to meet early demand for a new product, although this also does little to damage its sales in the longer term – even adding some cachet to the sold-out device.

The Reuters report also suggested that analysts at brokers’ firm Pacific Crest had said Apple is ordering components that would enable it to make “well over 20 million” units this year.

Most reports pointed to earlier figures from Canalys, which showed that “over 720,000 Android Wear devices” shipped in 2014, alongside some devices running other platforms.

This means that even taking into account rivals’ earlier launch to the market, Apple has been the one to ignite customer interest – although the interesting thing to watch will be how this develops in the coming months, once the early-adopters are out of the way.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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