Analyst: Apple Watch Sales to Hit 12M During Holidays

Apple Watch sales could hit 12 million during the holiday buying season, according to FBR analyst Daniel Ives. He said Black Friday sales showed Apple Watch is a hot item this year and has him doubling his earlier 6 million sales estimate through the end of the year.

Apple Watch sales could hit $12 million by the end of the yearApple Watch sales could hit 12 million by the end of the year

Mr. Ive had been expecting to see 6 million in Apple Watch sales by the end of the year, but dramatically revised his prediction after reviewing Black Friday figures, according to Forbes. Black Friday is the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. It signifies the beginning of the holiday buying season, and marks the time of year when retailers start bringing in the majority of their profits.

That bodes well for Apple Watch in the short term, but Mr. Ive says long term sales are still up in the air. "The longer-term consumer adoption curve for the Apple Watch remains a major 'hot button' question among tech investors, as broad customer demand is yet to be seen, and as Apple enters a major 'prove me' period during the holiday season," he said.

Apple stepped into the smartwatch market after Samsung, Motorola, Pebble, and other companies had already launched their wrist top devices. The company may be relatively late to the game, but that's typically how Apple rolls: let other companies jump in first, then show up later with a better and more thought out product.

Apple's strategy seems to be paying off so far. The company has already outsold all competitors combined despite smartwatches still being a niche market.

Those sales may be having an impact on the quality Swiss watch market, too. Watches that fall in the Apple Watch price range aren't selling as well with exports down 8.5 percent during the third quarter.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said last quarter's Apple Watch sales beat company expectations.

"Sales of the Watch did exceed our expectations, and they did so despite supply still trailing demand at the end of the quarter," Mr. Cook said. "To give you a little additional insight, through the end of the quarter, in fact, the Apple Watch sell through was higher than the comparable launch period of the original iPhone or the original iPad."

That's good news for Apple since the wearable tech market is still in its infancy. Mr. Ive expects it to become a $20 billion market, and Apple is already positioned to be the dominant player. That's a lot of Apple Wat