The Apple Watch Launch: What We Know So Far


It has been a week since the Apple Watch began taking pre-orders. While we don’t have any official figures from Apple, the consensus seems to be that the early results have been strong. Slice Intelligence estimates that orders were close to 1 million for the first 24 hours based on their own survey data. But that data is limited to the United States. KGI Securities, with a reputation for accurately predicting Apple data, expects that pre-orders through May will top 2.3 million units. Whatever the real numbers may be, we can safely estimate that Apple has sold more watches so far than Android did in a whole year.

KGI also says that the breakdown between Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch Edition is 85%, 15% and less than 1% respectively. These figures are in line with expectations, as the Apple Watch Sport is at the entry level pricing of $350. On the whole, average selling price (ASP) for Apple Watches is expected to be around $500, with additional bands being purchased that range between $49 and $450.

Shipments for the pre-orders are expected to take 2-3 weeks, but many purchasers will need to wait until June. With close to 60 SKUs for the watch, it is not surprising that there is a delay in shipments. Apple is most likely going to use the pre-orders to optimize and adjust its supply chain. We also know that, unlike most other Apple products that you can buy in the store, the Apple Watch will need to be ordered with a fitting arranged in the store if needed. This is a function of the complexities of the various permutations and combinations of watches and accessories on offer.

Compared to some of the past first-generation Apple products, the Apple Watch has set a new benchmark, overshadowing the iPad, iPhone, and iPod.

Apple Watch1

(Sources: Apple, Slice Intelligence)

The chart above shows how Apple products have consistently outperformed each other on debut. However, the Watch is in a class of its own. The Watch has already sold an estimated 1 million units in the first day, compared to the iPad which took 28 days to reach that milestone, the iPhone which took 74 days, or the iPod which took close to 2 years.

If anything, this is a reflection of the brand value that Apple has built over the years and the level of enthusiasm that it creates for any product debut. It is proof positive that the Apple Watch is the “hero” wearable device that everyone was waiting for.

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