5M+ Apple Watch units to be built for launch, 18k gold 'Edition' could be Apple's most expensive product ever
Apple and its suppliers are gearing up for the debut of the Apple Watch in April, with the company reportedly ordering between 5 million and 6 million units with prices ranging from $349 to thousands of dollars.
Alleged details on the upcoming Apple Watch launch were reported on Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed people familiar with the matter. It noted that the high-end Apple Watch Edition is "expected" to be among the most expensive products Apple has ever sold.
Specifically, it said that the Apple Watch Edition could exceed the base price of Apple's current high-end, 6-core $3,999 Mac Pro desktop. The premium Apple Watch model will feature 18-karat gold cases in yellow or rose.
On the low-end, Apple has already announced that the Apple Watch Sport will start at $349. That model will feature Ion-X glass, while a step up to the mid-level Apple Watch will get buyers a scratch-resistant sapphire cover. Pricing for the mid-level model is still unknown.
The Journal noted that initial orders for the Apple Watch are not far off from the debut of the iPad in 2010, when Apple sold 7.5 million units in its first six months of availability. The report also indicated that Quanta Computer will be the sole assembler of the new wrist-worn device.
Analyst Rod Hall of J.P. Morgan said in a note to investors last week that he expects the base Apple Watch Sport will account for 95 percent of units sold to consumers.
If Apple truly is building at least 5 million units in preparation for the launch of the Apple Watch, the company would blow away demand seen for competing Android Wear devices that debuted last year. This month, one firm estimated that just 720,000 Android Wear devices shipped in the second half of 2014 after their launch.