Cupertino looking to launch with 30-40 million Apple Watches

Apple is preparing to ship a large number of its smartwatches when the firm releases the device at some point early(ish) next year, at least according to the rumour mill.

DigiTimes reckons that, according to its usual manufacturing sources, chip orders for the Apple Watch are pitched so that we’ll see between 30 and 40 million units of the device being produced.

That’s a lot of watches and a measure of the confidence Apple has in its upcoming product – particularly in light of the fact that the smartwatch market has yet to properly get going.

While wearables are certainly taking off, it’s the lower-end of the market and fitness bands which are making a splash right now (and predicted to do so over Christmas), but smartwatches are expected to gain in popularity next year.

If anyone can truly push the category to new ground, it’s Apple, with its design chops and fervent user base. Cupertino seems intent on making an impact, at least if these rumoured figures are correct.

Some analysts aren’t convinced Apple will be able to sell anywhere near these numbers, though, and we have our doubts. For us, the watch doesn’t look as slick as we were expecting, and it doesn’t particularly push any new ground in terms of features (though the UI does look very smart).

It’s also set to be pricey if you want anything but the most basic model, and many folks think smartwatches are too expensive in general as is. Still, with the really expensive gold Edition which will purportedly run to thousands, Apple is evidently hoping to tap into the status symbol market…