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Apple prepares 5 million units for Apple Watch launch

Apple is planning to release its highly-anticipated Apple Watch with a launch of more than five million units.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Cupertino-based company has ordered between five and six million devices across all three variants from its Asian suppliers.

Read more: Apple Watch gold edition so pricey, it’ll need to be kept in a safe

Sources indicate that the $349 budget version, the Apple Watch Sport, will make up approximately half of all units, with the regular Apple Watch making up a third of the shipment or approximately 1.6 million devices. The remaining 0.9 million will be made up of the luxury 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition.

Although a price tag has not yet been confirmed for the high-end version of the Apple Watch, it is expected to be in the region of several thousand dollars.

Despite wearable technology struggling to really take-off in the mainstream market, Apple has set an ambitious sales target with its initial shipment. Less than a million Android Wear devices were sold throughout latter half of 2014, a figure Apple is looking to exceed by some distance. Analysis undertaken by ABI Research suggests that 11.8 million Apple Watches will be sold during 2015.

The optimism surrounding the Apple Watch, despite wearable technology gaining limited traction amongst consumers, is likely to be fuelled by the success of the company’s last entirely new release. The iPad sold 7.5 million units in its first six months on sale, laying the foundations for the tablet computing industry.

Read more: Apple Watch will monitor glucose levels

Expected to begin shipping in April, the Apple Watch made the news earlier this week following reports of a last-minute change to its core functionality. Sources indicate that much of the device’s health monitoring technology, including blood pressure analysis, has had to be scrapped due to inconsistent results and regulatory issues.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.