Various reports have suggested that Apple’s first smartwatch, expected to launch early next year, will be a very successful product for the company, with some analysts expecting the company to sell some 30 million Apple Watch units in the first year alone. MacRumors further points out that a survey conducted by UBS analysts reached almost the same conclusion, with the poll showing that some 10% of respondents are “very likely” to buy an Apple Watch next year.
Thus, UBS expects Apple to sell 24 million units in the first nine to 12 months following the device’s launch. The analysts expect Apple to sell a total of 240 million iPhones that are compatible with the Apple Watch by that time.
“Figure 10 [see image below] indicates that 10% of respondents (401 out of 4,000) are very likely and 17% (682 out of 4,000) somewhat likely to buy a smartwatch in the next 12 months,” UBS writes. “That is a three-fold increase vis-à-vis the 386 respondents claiming to already own a smartwatch and a four-fold increase if we assume that around one-third of the currently owned smartwatches are actually fitness bands.”
Furthermore, in a different survey, UBS found the Apple Watch to be only second to the Samsung Gear when it comes to buying intention, though the company expects these positions to reverse after the Apple Watch starts selling in stores.
UBS also believes the Apple Watch is a very important product for Apple, and could one day replace the iPhone.
“Cellular and battery technology is not yet sufficiently miniaturized to fit in the Watch and allow independent functioning. We would think the ability to do so is maybe five years away. In fact, the screen size differential may mean that the Watch and the iPhone will prove complements rather than substitutes. Arguably that is the way the iPad and Mac might be playing out, different products for different jobs,” the company wrote.
“Given that about two-thirds of Apple’s profit is generated by the iPhone, the company has to be concerned about the longer-term threat of replacement technology, whether it be a leap in handset technology or loss of key functions to wearables. With a sophisticated user interface and third-party apps coming on, Apple may be readying for the time when the Apple Watch encroaches on the smartphone market.”