Apple may have sold 10 million+ handsets in the first weekend of the iPhone 6 going on sale, but don’t expect those kind of numbers for the Apple Watch.
Despite being eagerly-anticipated by both fans and the press, Apple has reportedly asked its suppliers in Asia to manufacture a total of 5-6 million units of its three Apple Watch models for the device’s upcoming launch in April. Of these, half are expected to be the entry-level Apple Watch Sport model, one third will likely be the mid-level device, and the remaining ones will be the ultra-luxurious models — including the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition.
Given that the Apple Watch Edition will most likely be the most expensive product Apple has ever made, it’s no surprise that these will be in limited supply.
While the total Apple Watch orders might sound pessimistically small for Apple, they’re in line with the orders for Apple’s last major new product category, the iPad, which sold 7.5 million units in its first six months. As a number, it’s also a world away from the pathetically-tiny 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches which shipped in the last six months of 2014.
The 5-6 million figure cited by the Wall Street Journal is in line with previous reports we’ve heard. Those same early reports claimed Apple plans to ship a total of 24 million Apple Watches for 2015. Although that number is certainly a bit higher than I would expect, if Apple can sell 5-6 million Apple Watches this year it will still have blown away the total number of smart fitness trackers sold (3.3 million) in the whole of 2013.
Not bad for a product that reportedly changed direction midway through production.