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Launch day Apple Watch orders estimated at 1M in US, skews toward Sport model

Initial Apple Watch numbers are trickling in and among the first to report was research firm Slice Intelligence, which estimates nearly one million customers in the U.S. preordered the device on Friday.

Compiling data from a panel of two million online shoppers, Slice Intelligence said 957,000 U.S. customers preordered Apple Watch on its first day of availability. As expected, Apple's cheaper Apple Watch Sport model was most popular and garnered an estimated 62 percent of orders.

Citing data from 9,090 shoppers, the firm said Apple Watch buyers purchased an average of 1.3 watches and spent an average of $503.83 per device. Broken down by model, Sport buyers spent on average $382.83 per order, while those picking up stainless steel Apple Watch versions spent $707.04.

Buyers were most interested in larger 42mm Watch models, while the most popular case overall was the Space Gray aluminum Sport. According to the report, 40 percent of all Apple Watch purchases went to this model, followed by silver stainless steel at 34 percent, raw aluminum at 23 percent and the diamond-like carbon-coated Space Black stainless version at 3 percent.

As for watch bands, 49 percent of Apple Watch and Sport buyers opted for a black fluoroelastomer Sport Band, while 16 percent chose the white Sport Band. Apple's woven steel Milanese Loop came in third with about 10 percent.

The numbers jibe with research from BMO Capital, as reported by Fortune, that said about 60 percent of customers planning to buy Apple Watch were interested in the aluminum model, 12 percent for stainless and 4 percent gold, with 24 percent undecided. The report suggests Apple's advertising tactics could have helped up-sell those undecideds toward higher-priced models, as 53 percent of in-store and online displays focused on the stainless steel Apple Watch compared to 26 percent for aluminum and 21 percent for gold.

Aside from preorder estimates, anecdotal reports have appeared on various social media platforms claiming Apple is clamping down on buyers who purchased multiple units. While the claims have yet to be substantiated, some report Apple is canceling preorders for households that have more than one Apple Watch coming to the same address. Based on previous product sales and Apple's ability to forecast purchasing trends, however, these reports could be spurious or resultant from order errors not reflective of official Apple policy.

Apple kicked off preorders on Friday and quickly saw initial supply exhausted. Within minutes of going live, preorder ship-by dates for most Watch models slipped to 4 to 6 weeks. The company also initiated try-on appointments for customers on the fence about buying the pricey gadget, offering 15 minute one-on-one sessions to those interested in aluminum and stainless steel models, and 30 minutes for well-heeled buyers looking at the solid gold Apple Watch Edition.