LOS ANGELES – How many smartwatches could Apple sell this year?
A new research report Tuesday pegged as many as 20 million in the first year. CCS Insight says this will make the Apple Watch, out in April, “the most successful smartwatch ever.”
That’s not saying much, as the watches that have come out to date have yet to catch a break with consumers.
Pebble, the first smartwatch to launch, says it has sold 1 million copies in its two years on the market, while watches from Samsung and LG under the “Android Wear” banner sold just 720,000 units in 2014, according to researcher Canalys.
This week LG announced a new “luxury” smartwatch, “Watch Urbane,” for release later this year. The device is all-metal and looks to take on the Apple Watch with a more polished look. LG hasn’t announced pricing details.
The CCS projections for the Apple Watch are on the high side. Other analysts have been less optimistic. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster projects sales of 8 million watches, and Apple could be looking at less. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has ordered an initial run of 5-6 million watches.
The Apple Watch will be the company’s first new i-device since 2010’s introduction of the iPad, which sold 15 million units in its first year.
Even if Apple goes on to sell 20 million watches this year, that’s a fraction of what it sees from it’s cash cow, the iPhone. In 2014, Apple sold over 100 million iPhones.
The Apple watch will start at $349 when it goes on sale, but it’s expected that consumers will pay much more.
The watch comes in 3 models–standard, luxury and sport, and the last one is gold plated. Apple hasn’t said how much it expects to sell that edition for–but online reports peg it at over $4,000.
Apple fan site 9to5Mac is currently running a poll, asking its readers to guess the final asking price for the gold Apple Watch. The poll starts at $1,500-2,500 and goes all the way up to $10,000.