Apple Watch Production to Begin in January, Estimates Rosenblatt, Sales by February?
Brian Blair with Rosenblatt Securities today opines that production by Apple (AAPL) of its Apple Watch smartwatch has been delayed yet again, from a prior plan to start in November to now perhaps starting in January.
Blair thinks this means the Watch cold formally debut, in limited quantities, by February.
Blair doesn’t say what sources he has for the production time frame, though his notes have over the years tended to glean data from multiple contacts he or the firm has with supply chain individuals. Blair notes that much of this year, he’d expected a September production start, then it slipped to October, then November, and now to January.
Blair thinks that InvenSense (INVN), Broadcom (BRCM), GT Advanced (GTAT), andIntegrated Device Technology (IDT) are all suppliers for the watch, he believes. Blair thinks an initial volume of production could be 15 million, units, writing ” We believe this is what suppliers into the watch are preparing in inventory for shipment to Quanta, who will be manufacturing the watch.”
It’s not clear what subsequent production could be, and Apple is likely keeping things “fluid” as they see what initial demand looks like, he opines.
He reckons the full-year production could be in the range of 20 million to 25 million.
Blair thinks that with the watch starting at $349, the device is a “premium priced piece of hardware” and that means there’s questions about how high demand will be.
“We continue to believe the mid-tiered steel line will start in the $499 price range, with the 18k gold line starting in the $999 price range,” he writes. Apple shares today are down 18 cents at $99.72.