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Study Predicts 25m Apple Watch Sales in 18 Months

Tim Maytom

Apple WatchAs Apple prepares to officially launch its first smartwatch, there's been considerable debate about the market for the device, with some arguing that rumours of poor battery life and limited apps will put consumers off, and reports that Apple has ordered 6m units for Q2 alone.

However, one study by Adobe has attempted to place a firmer number on sales, and predicts that 10 per cent of iPhone and iPad users will buy an Apple Watch within the first 18 months, equating to around 25m sales.

While a poll of 1,000 US smartphone and tablet users saw 27 per cent say they are likely or very likely to buy a wearable, and two-thirds of that figure favouring the Apple Watch, Adobe stated that it believes those numbers are a little high.

The results, which translate to 18 per cent of all smartphone or tablet users buying an Apple Watch, combine 'likely' and 'very likely', but a usual rule of thumb applied to surveys such as this is that only 'very likely' can be truly counted on, leading Adobe to claim that real figures are likely to be around 10 per cent of existing iOS users.

"We think that Apple Watch might take off a little more than one would think," said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst for Adobe Digital Index. "There are some use cases for it that are kind of helpful, and one of them is that with the larger-screen smartphone, it's actually less convenient to pull it out all the time.

"The Apple Watch is a hands-free and much less conspicuous way to look at my emails, my text messages, instant messages, Facebook Messenger and maybe a little bit of my social media postings on my wrist without taking this big phone out of wherever I put it."

A poll by Credit Suisse in January suggested that 18 per cent of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners would be buying an Apple Watch, which equates to around 35m sales in the first year, while other analysts have projected sales anywhere from 10m to almost 40m. In the end, it will largely be down to how many devices Apple manufactures and whether early reviews pile praise onto the wearable, or label it as an unnecessary extravagance.