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If you've been wanting to get your hands (or, rather, your wrists) on Apple's so-called "iWatch," it looks as though you only have a year to wait. The date itself is pure informed speculation on the part of Wang Wanli, an analyst for CIMB Securities Limited, although Wanli's inverview with Taiwan's Commercial Times reveals that he may have inside knowledge that around 60 percent of Apple's orders will come from Taiwan's Inventec.
But the date's less surprising than the number he expects Apple will ship--around 63.4 million in the first year alone. For reference (as AppleInsider points out), that number roughly corresponds to the number of iPods that were sold between 2008 and 2010. Wanli projects that the device will be priced at a fairly agreeable $199, a number that sits near the middle of the price ranges for the $149 iPod nano and $229 16-gigabyte iPod touch.
Conjectural concept via Yrving Torrealba.
Wanli believes that the price will help the iWatch see massive sales, much as we saw with the iPod when it first came out. His proposed figure of 63.4 million units sold would mean the iWatch could sell around four times as many units than the iPad upon its first appearance.
Even so, Apple really needs to blow the competition out of the park with such a release. Competitor Samsung is expected to release its own Galaxy Gear device as soon as September 4, and other devices--such as the popular Pebble watch--are already on the market. If the whole touchscreen watch craze turns out to be a fad, Apple may find it entered the game just a little too late.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.