Predictions Keep Rising for Apple Watch

Several stories about the Apple Watch appeared this week, regarding its expected popularity and features.

First Alex Hou, project manager at Taiwan’s Industrial Economics Research Centre (IEK), predicted that as many as 13.07 million smartwatches will be shipped worldwide this year, up from 4.11 million this year. Of the total, the Apple Watch will represent 65% (8.5 million) of them.

The popularity of Apple’s iPhone 6 will be key to the Apple Watch’s success, said Hou. He also predicted that no second-tier smartwatch player – such as Asus – will achieve a market share greater than 5%. This is because their products lack features like Apple Pay.

An even more optimistic prediction was offered by CCS Insight, which covers the global mobile communications market. CCS expects the Apple Watch to take a 25% share of the overall wearables market, shipping about 20 million units by the end of the year. The firm expects fitness devices to continue to dominate the market, however, with shipments reaching 40 million units.

The Wall Street Journal did not have a prediction for 2015. However, the publication’s sources say that Apple has ordered a combined total of between 5 and 6 million Apple Watch units (three models) ahead of the release next month.

Half of the orders are for the entry-level Sport model and a third for the mid-tier device. The high-end gold model will represent the remaining orders, with shipments rising to about 1 million units per month in Q2. Demand for the gold model is expected to be particularly high in China.

Finally, the WSJ also claims that several features have been cut from the Apple Watch, mainly to do with health, due to ‘reliability issues’. Sensors apparently recorded inaccurate data if the wearer had hairy arms or dry skin, for example, or if the Watch was worn too tightly.

The health features could make an appearance in a later version of the device.