The launch of the Apple Watch is predicted to be a huge success, with expected sales for 2015 in the 10-30 million range. Pre-order watch sales began in April and customers can expect to receive their orders in June.
The watch will be available in three versions:
- Apple Watch Sport, with cases made of anodized aluminum and fortified glass
- The Apple Watch, which comes with a steel case and sapphire crystal
- Apple Watch Edition, crafted from 18-carat rose and yellow gold with sapphire glass
Prices start at $349 for the Sport model, $549 for the Watch, and $10,000+ for the Edition. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple ordered the assemblage of 5-6 million smart watches from their suppliers in Q1 of 2015. The Sport model accounts for half of the pre-ordered volume. The Watch version makes up for almost one third of the order, with the luxury Watch Edition version order being relatively small. Apple is expected to order about a million watches in Q2 of 2015.
As a comparison, in April of 2010, the iPad launch began with 7.5 million manufactured tablets. In 2014, the number of Android Wear smart watches shipped was around 720,000 (about 4.6 million smart bracelets, watches and other wrist devices were produced last year).
What’s the secret to the much-anticipated success of the Apple Watch? Several things:
- Design Factor. Just like the iPhone and the iPad, the Apple Watch design is sleek. The watch acts as an enhancement to your iPhone and helps you communicate more easily with family and friends. The Apple Watch also has far more personalization options than any other wearable device.
- App Factor. The usefulness of apps has largely increased with the transition from desktop and laptop computers to iPhones and iPads. Smaller screen space promotes the creation of better-designed apps, which will become more useful in terms of a consumer perspective.
- Wear Factor. Since it’s a wearable, the Apple watch is really easy to use. It is hard to misplace the watch since it’s usually on you. Forget about searching pockets for your phone to pay a merchant, check-in at the airport, or get information on a product. Now you can have those things at a display by simply pointing your wrist at the reader.
- Comfort Factor. People have been wearing watches since at least the nineteenth century. Watches are a habit, a necessity, and even a status symbol. It is predicted that the $10k+ Edition Watch might even become a sort of new “Tesla” in Silicon Valley.
With all the glorious features of the new Apple watch, there are few drawbacks: iPhone dependence, short battery life, high price, long replacement cycles and lack of subsidy from telecoms. However, these issues are all sure to be resolved in the future.
While some people are predicting gloom and doom for the Apple Watch, remember that the same predictions were previously made about the iPhone, which has now surpassed 700 million in sales. With Apple fans being as loyal as they are, the Apple Watch seems poised for great success.