According to Katy Huberty, analyst of global financial services firm Morgan Stanley, the Apple Watch could sell 36 million units in the first full year it is on the market. Huberty has raised her sales prediction by 20 percent -- she had previously forecasted that Apple's first wearable device would sell 30 million units in its first 12 months.
36 million is an impressive figure, but what really makes this remarkable is that this is actually a conservative forecast. Sales figures might have been higher if Apple did not encounter any problems with regards to its supply chain for its smartwatch offering.
Selling more than 30 million in a field replete with competition would be no easy feat. The smartwatch market already offers Samsung's Gear S, Motorola's Moto 360, and LG's G Watch. But despite being in the market for some time now, not one of these smartwatch brands have captured the attention of consumers as vividly as the Apple Watch has in the past few months. Need proof? As reported by Strategy Analytics, all smartwatch sellers combined sold only 4.6 million units in 2014.
Officially made available in stores worldwide last April 24th, the Apple Watch is offered in three basic versions -- the entry level Apple Watch Sport (starting at $349), the midlevel Apple Watch (priced at $549), and the luxury Apple Watch Edition (which fetches at prices starting at $10,000). As of now, all Apple Watch versions can be bought from Apple only by reservation at an Apple Store outlet or through online, although a few Apple Watch Edition units can be purchased from select luxury boutiques.
Despite the popularity of the Apple Watch, it appears that the demand for the device is far outpacing its supply. Apple is definitely no stranger to very high demand for its products (basically what happens when a new iPhone is released), but with its first ever wearable device, problems with supply could hurt its overall sales numbers.
Or so Huberty thinks. She came up with the figure after polling consumers who stated that they would definitely (as opposed to probably) purchase the Apple Watch. She began keeping track of American consumers' interest in Apple's smartwatch since the device was first introduced in September of last year. According to her data, prospective buyer demand has consistently increased during the last six months, and even ballooned in the last few weeks.
Huberty maintains that if Apple could only manufacture enough smartwatches in time, the company would likely sell 50 million in the first year. She further adds that as the production eventually finds a rhythm, Apple should be able to catch up with the demand.
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