The Apple Watch is now available for pre-order, and consumers have been flocking to Apple Stores in droves to get a first glimpse at the device, according to a Reuters report from Noel Randewich and Astrid Wendlandt. There’s a growing degree of buzz about the forthcoming device, but little by way of numbers to quantify it.
Apple has already predicted that demand will outstrip supply when the smartwatch launches on April 24th, and in an interview with CNBC, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the preorder numbers have been “great”. It’s also already popping up on eBay, with markups as high as $3000 on the most expensive version of the smartwatch. And while sales estimates from industry analysts tend to vary, almost everyone predicts them to be strong and to outsell those of its competitors. The Reuters article quotes Societe Generale as predicting that the Apple Watch will account for 55 percent of all smartwatch sales this year.
That is actually good news for Apple’s smartwatch rivals. Smartwatches have already been on the market for quite a while, but none have managed to gain a lot of mainstream traction; Apple, by virtue of the power of its brand, could drastically change that, and in bringing the smartwatch concept into the mainstream could actually improve sales for competitors. Samsung, in particular, looks poised to gain from such a development, given its high profile in the prestige mobile device market, and that its forthcoming Samsung Gear A smartwatch doesn’t need to be paired with a smartphone, allowing it to target the many consumers who are suddenly interested in owning a smartwatch, but don’t have an iPhone with which to pair the Apple Watch.