The first batch of Apple Watch shipments will be limited to six million units, sources speaking with the Wall Street Journal have revealed.
Giving some colour to Tim Cook’s official announcement, the Wall Street Journal has obtained information about Apple’s bet in terms of Apple Watch sales: Of the 5–6 million Apple Watch orders, the entry-level Apple Watch Sport model will account for half, the mid-tier model for about a third, and the high-end Apple Watch Edition the remainder.
Orders for Apple Watch Edition – the high-end model featuring 18-karat gold casing – are relatively small in the first quarter but Apple plans to start producing more than one million units per month in the second quarter, the person said. Analysts expect demand for the high-end watches to be strong in China where Apple’s sales are booming.
The above proportions reveal two things: (1) Apple is betting on reasonably high Apple Watch sales for the first year, even though Android smart watches hardly surpassed the 720,000 milestone in the second half of last year, if we are to believe Canalys’ numbers; (2) Apple is betting on the success of the entry-level model, which costs $349. The company has been careful not to leak any pricing details for the mid-tier model, or the pricing of the bands, so we don’t know how that kind of customization will affect in the price.
Jony Ive has reportedly been interested in making luxury products – according to the New Yorker. Now this has become a reality: The high-end Edition model will be Apple’s most expensive product, surpassing the $4,000 Mac Pro computer.
Apple has sold 7.5 million iPads in the six months since it officially launched the product in April 2010. So 5–6 million Apple Watch units seems to be a “conservative” approach to the market, at least for now and from the perspective of analyst estimates.