Smartwatches running Google’s Android Wear operating system have been on the market since mid-2014 and roughly 720,000 units have been sold to date according to Canalys. Apple, on the other hand, has much higher expectations for its first entry into the nascent smartwatch market. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple is requesting production of five to six million units of the Apple Watch for its April launch.
Apple is looking to blanket three sectors of the market with a “Good, Better, Best” approach. The entry-level model is the aluminum-clad Apple Watch Sport, while the mid-range Apple Watch comes with a natural or black stainless steel case. The top range model is the Apple Watch Edition that features an 18-karat gold case that comes in yellow or rose.
The natural stainless steel Apple Watch with Milanese loop
The $349 Apple Watch Sport will account for 50 percent of initial production, while the yet-to-be-priced Apple Watch will secure 33 percent of the production volume. The Apple Watch Edition, which is expected to run into the thousands of dollars, will account for the remaining 17 percent of production.
Some analysts have reported that the Apple Watch Edition could easily be priced in the $2,000 range, but The Wall Street Journal indicates that the luxury model could surpass the $3,999 price tag of the range-topping Mac Pro. Of course, all of this is just speculation and we’ll receive the official price list closer to the April launch date.
It was reported earlier this week that the Apple Watch was originally designed to have a much greater focus on health monitoring. Apple tinkered with sensors that would provide accurate heart rate readings via an EKG along with blood pressure and blood oxygen level sensors. However, early testing showed that these sensors weren’t reliable enough to meet Apple’s standards for a production device.