Apple Watch To Ship 20 Million Plus Units, Analysts Say

New findings from analysts at Canalys suggest that the Apple Watch is set to ship 20 million units in 2015, following seven million in Q1, according to the New Zealand Reseller News. Chris Jones, VP and Principal Analyst at Canalys, said that the Apple Watch will make up the majority of smartwatch shipments this year and has had an impact on Samsung and others in the wearables market.

“Despite the Apple Watch requiring an iPhone, Apple’s impending entrance in Q2 had a negative impact on vendors such as Samsung.

Discounting has been used to clear inventory in the channel. The Apple Watch has set the benchmark for other smart watches and will make up the majority of shipments this year.”

The Apple Watch, the first wearable from Apple, was released this time last month, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, and requires pairing with an iPhone 5 or above. Purchasing the two together brand new can cost upwards of $1,000 USD, with the cheapest option clocking in at $800 — $450 for an iPhone 5c and $350 for the cheapest Apple Watch Sport.

In spite of the price point and entry barriers, the Motley Fool reports even larger numbers than Canalys from some industry experts, ranging from the 20 million unit figure to a staggering 36 million from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.

The wearables market grew over 150 percent this year, as Apple introduced the Apple Watch into the mix. Industry leader Fitbit also saw a major growth, particularly with their affordable offering, the Mi Band, in China. They still fell to second place in shipped units behind the Apple Watch in Q1, according to Xiaomi.

Meanwhile, at present, Android Wear, Google’s offering, holds 31 percent of the market, according to Canalys’ data.

To put this all in context, there were only 6.8 million smart watches shipped throughout 2014, at an average price of $189 USD, as per industry researchers in the Smartwatch group. Whether they were justified in thinking big or not, Apple likely planned their initial shipment specifically around blowing that number out of the water — seven million is a little close to 6.8 to be written off as coincidence. If Apple is able to ship even 15 million units worldwide this year, they’ll have single-handedly more than doubled the smartwatch market.

Apple won’t be releasing sales numbers on the Apple Watch until July. Until then, all we can do is speculate. But it seems clear that Apple intends to give the wearables market a firm kick in the pants — and leave themselves sitting on top of it.

[Photo by Stephen Lam / Getty Images]