While Apple hasn’t provided official word on Apple Watch pre-orders, industry analysts are of course offering their own estimates. KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo is the latest to guess at pre-order numbers, suggesting that global Apple Watch orders could have surpassed 2.3 million units.
Kuo, who has a decent track record discussing Apple, gave his estimate in a note to investors:
We estimate production of Apple Watch around 2.3mn units in March-May. Mass production of Apple Watch began in March and will likely reach 2.3mn by end of May. Considering that most consumers who preordered will not get the device until June, we estimate global preorders of over 2.3mn units, with Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition representing a respective order allocation of 85%, 15% and less than 1%.
The figure can be compared to an earlier estimate from Slice Intelligence of 1 million units in the US alone. Slice’s data, however, comes from a relatively small sample of shoppers who have opted in to having their online receipts tracked.
Kuo, on the other hand, has some solid supply chain sources and has correctly predicted several Apple hardware improvements in the past.
As well as 2.3 million pre-orders, Kuo also suggests that Apple is aiming to produce 2 to 3 million Apple Watches per month. Potential production issues are said to include Apple’s new Taptic Engine vibration unit and AMOLED displays that could have yield issues. If Apple can avoid potential bottlenecks, Kuo expects 2.5 million Apple Watches to be produced by June.
If Kuo’s estimates are correct, they would already place Apple Watch firmly as the most popular wearable device in history. Pebble previously announced it had sold 1 million devices since 2013 and combined Android Wear device sales in 2014 reached around 720,000.
To give a little more context, Apple sold 300,000 iPad units globally on its first day in 2010 with its millionth sale coming 28 days later. In 2007, iPhone sales topped 270,000 units in the first thirty hours with the 1 million mark being hit 74 days later.
Despite strong sales, Kuo is unsure if Apple Watch is a hit. He estimates that fewer than 10% of iPhone owners have ordered the device, suggesting that only hardcore Apple fans are currently interested in the Watch.
Are you surprised by Apple Watch’s sales performance? If the estimates are near the truth, has the device been a bigger hit than you expected? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!