Analysts struggle with Apple Watch unit sales forecasts

“The Apple Watch isn’t going on sale until next year, but already everyone from Wall Street analysts to luxury fashion executives are trying to handicap future sales of the groundbreaking device,” Aaron Pressman reports for Yahoo Finance. “”

“Among the finance set, estimates range from a few million to almost 40 million in the first year of sales. ‘The detail that went into the design, including the watch bands, is impressive and not fully appreciated yet,’ UBS analyst Steven Milunovich wrote in his assessment of the watch,” Pressman reports. “He sees 24 million sold in the first year and 40 million in the next year.”

“Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald, expects Apple will sell 37 million watches in the first year, outpacing the 20 million iPads sold in the tablet’s first 12 months. ‘We believe Apple Watch will prove to be a home run with the fastest, new product, first-year unit sales volume in the company’s history,” Fitzgerald said last month on CNBC,’ Pressman reports. “Apple competitors were unsurprisngly less generous. Jean-Claude Biver, head of LVMH’s luxury watch unit, is predicting a flop. The Apple watch ‘has no sex appeal’ and ‘looks like it was designed by a student in their first trimester,'” he says.”

Pressman reports, “The device will come in two sizes and three models. The entry-level model will start at $349 but Apple said nothing more about pricing for the rest of the line – a critical factor for projecting potential sales — leading to wide-ranging speculation.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Gotta love Jean-Claude Biver! Fear generates the best quotes.

We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent watch. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.

Related articles:
Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster predicts sales of 10 million Apple Watches in calendar 2015 – October 1, 2014
Vogue: A rare look at design genius Jony Ive, the man behind the Apple Watch – October 1, 2014
The fashion elite crowd around Apple Watch at Colette in Paris – September 30, 2014
With Apple Watch looming, Pebble slashes price of smartwatch to $99 – September 30, 2014
Extensive Apple Watch hands on reveals iPhone downloads, manages Watch apps – September 30, 2014
Five things we learned about Apple Watch at Paris Fashion Week – September 30, 2014
Apple’s Jony Ive and Marc Newson show off Apple Watch at Colette event in Paris – September 30, 2014
Apple’s design team headed to Paris Fashion Week, likely for Apple Watch event – September 29, 2014
Can Apple disrupt the luxury watch industry with a $10,000 Apple Watch? – September 17, 2014
Jean-Claude Biver: ‘The Apple Watch cannot compete at all with European watches’ – September 15, 2014
What the Apple Watch says about Apple – September 15, 2014
Tim Cook of Apple Watch battery life: ‘You’ll want to charge them every night’ – September 12, 2014
Old school watch makers don’t get Apple Watch – September 12, 2014
Apple Watch, the world’s first real smartwatch, will be a massive hit – September 9, 2014
Apple iWatch designer Jony Ive: Switzerland is in deep shit – September 4, 2014


  1. What percentage of the 350,000,000 bluetooth 4 and up iPhone owners can resist talking into a watch to make phone calls?

    I for one CANNOT resist, and I don’t currently wear any of the watches I own.

    the aftermarket for iWatch bands is going to be absolutely SICK.

    An estimate of 10 million is way too low.

    I am glad analysts are comparing to iPad sales rather than some who are comparing to watch sales. It boggles the mind that Apple is probably going to eclipse the entire yearly revenue of Swiss Watchmakers in Q1 of iWatch sales and leave the entire yearly revenue of the European Luxury Watch Industry, including Switzerland, in the rearview mirror in Q2.

    1. And what none of these analysts are factoring into their numbers is that the Watch enables Pay for older iPhone models.

      So instead of buying a new iPhone to get Pay, just buy a Watch. BOOM!!!

    2. I’m an Apple fan going back 30 years and am currently inundated with Apple equipment including a 5s, a retina MacBook Pro, Apple TV and other Apple branded paraphernalia, and for some strange reason I have no Apple watch lust my heart. No wonder the pundits are confused.

  2. Come on, guys. There are reasons that analysts are predicting a relatively slow rollout. The Apple Watch DOES have some limitations on its appeal:

    1) it pairs with latest models of iPhone, so as a start, it’s only attractive to people who have the latest iPhones.

    2) Significant numbers of iOS users prefer not to wear any watch for many reasons.

    3) Value is not great for everyone. Many health and exercise fanatics already have rather extensive capabilities on their wrists or on their bikes or whatever. Based on the limited info Apple has shared, the Apple Watch doesn’t guarantee any unique functionality out of the gate. It will take time for watch-specific apps to offer better functionality than health gurus already use.
    4) Fashion is a fickle thing. There is simply no way Apple is going to keep up with the fickle fashionistas just by changing straps. I’ve already heard many watch wearers call the Apple Watch “clunky” or declare their loyalty to their current dive watch or mechanical Swiss movement or whatever. Apple isn’t likely to win them over no matter what electronics are inside.
    5) finally, battery life is a big deal. A daily recharge is NOT acceptable for a lot of people.

    Factoring in all these considerations, the Apple Watch is likely only to be a moderate success out of the gate, but future development will obviously make it a better value and a better seller over time.

    It is poor taste to misspell the word “analyst” since everyone here is doing exactly the same thing, except most are using 100% emotion and pro-Apple bias instead of researching sales numbers from Apple AND from the competition to gauge possible new unit sales.

    1. Latest models? Pay works with any iPhone from 5 on up. That’s three generations of iPhone that works with Pay via Watch. I triple dog dare you to find ANY Samsung/Android phone that adds a feature to include hardware from the prior two generations.

      And maybe people prefer not to wear watches now, but most people say that is because they don’t need a watch to tell time when they always have their iPhone. But what will they say once the Watch adds really cool functions that make it easier to use than their iPhone? How about for women who keep their iPhones in their purses?

      Fashion is indeed fickle, but who says the Watch won’t become the big fashion must-have? And just because someone likes their dive watch doesn’t mean they also wouldn’t like an Watch, or have one on the other wrist!

      Why is daily recharging a problem? Do you not sleep?

      1. Yup, I agree, if it is a truly innovative Apple product (and I believe it is) it will sell like hot cakes and be a great important step into the array of wearable computers.

        Sure to be exciting at any rate.

  3. As I understand it, watch will pair with the 5, 5C, 5S, 6, and 6 plus. And further, it will bring ApplePay to the 5 series devices. The sales will be through the roof. Everyone I speak with wants one.

    1. My son, a high school senior, has already placed his order for an Watch as his graduation present. So the argument that watches are out of style and not worn by the young kids is very wrong.

  4. One of the big problems with the Apple watch is that at this point it is only an iPhone peripheral. The iPod was no big deal until it became Windows compatible. The Apple watch will only appeal to iPhone users. Whether Apple keeps it as an iPhone peripheral or makes Android compatible will determine the future viability of the product.

    Every time I mention Android compatibly I get down-voted into oblivion. Heap on the abuse, I can take it.

    But, like the iPod, the Apple Watch will remain an Apple-only peripheral unless theres some indication of whether there will be cross-platform compatibility. This is why the analysts don’t know what to think.

    I’m just looking at the iPod’s history and it’s part in where Apple is today. Do I think Apple will create a non-gateway product with as much effort and R&D behind it as the Apple Watch? No.

    It if you really want to down vote me as insane, that’s okay but just give me a hint why.

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