After months of anticipation, Apple is revealing a closeup of the Apple Watch at a live event in Cupertino today. Based on shipment numbers, Apple expects to sell more units than the entire smartwatch industry in 2014. It is reported to have ordered five to six million units for just the first quarter of 2015, and analysts have estimated on average 22 million units to ship throughout 2015.
Approximately half of Apple’s orders from suppliers are said to be for the Apple Watch and a third for the Apple Watch Sport, two of the three versions the new device. The Apple Watch will have stainless steel casting, and the Apple Watch Sport is aimed at the fitness market. The Apple Watch Edition will be a luxury device with gold casing, estimated to be priced over $4,000.
No other player in the smartwatch industry has had the success Apple is preparing for. The smartwatch market is fragmented, with 34% of market share belonging to “other” or small players. Fitbit – which is simply a fitness tracker – and Sony own 6% of the market each, while Samsung has 23%.
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