Small research firm Slice Intelligence estimates that early orders of Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) new smartwatch have reached nearly a million. What is hard to tell is whether that volume is good or bad for Apple.
The operation’s researchers announced:
Slice Intelligence estimates that 957,000 people in the U.S. pre-ordered an Apple Watch on Friday, the first day the watch was available for sale. According to ereceipt data from 9,080 online shoppers, each Apple Watch buyer ordered an average of 1.3 watches, spending $503.83 per watch. Those ordering an Apple Watch Sport spent $382.83 per watch and those ordering the Apple Watch spent $707.04.
Among those buying an Apple Watch, 72 percent purchased an Apple product in the past two years (iPhone, Apple computer or iPad), and 21 percent of them pre-ordered an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus mere months ago. Nearly one-third purchased two Apple products and 11 percent bought all three devices, in addition to their new watch.
As expected, most consumers — 62 percent — purchased the less-expensive Sport model. However, many Apple Watch buyers invested in the pricier case but the cheapest band, with more than one third adding a black or white Sport band.
No one expected sales of the Apple Watch would match iPhone’s, which have hit millions during the days after introduction of each new generation. The watch is a niche product, so experts say. If Apple wants to prove wearable consumer electronics products can become mainstream, a million units has to be a less than modest start.
Apple Watch may not be a product with enough demand to put it among the products that drive Apple’s top line, primarily the iPhone, and to a lesser extent the Mac. If that is so, the smartwatch may not be core to Apple’s lineup for years, or perhaps forever.
With a panel of more than 2 million online shoppers, Slice Intelligence offers the most detailed and precise digital commerce data available, reported daily.
Slice gets its data from e-receipts — not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user — so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world.