Apple gearing up for Watch BONANZA

Company wants up to 50 million units produced

Apple is setting up for a massive rollout of its new Watch device, if rumors are to be believed.

A report from Taipei's DigiTimes cites industry sources as the source in a report suggesting Apple has ordered enough chips to power between 40 and 50 million wrist jobs.

If correct the report indicates that Apple has high hopes for sales of the Watch when the company debuts the device next year. The Cupertino giant debuted the smartwatch in September but the company won't actually let consumers get their hands on the designer wristslab until early next year.

Should Apple indeed be building up a massive stockpile of watch units, as the chip numbers would indicate, the company could be planning to have the rollout go much smoother than those of rival smartwatch vendors.

Samsung was reported to be shipping fewer than 1,000 Galaxy gear watches a day in the weeks after the Korean electronics giant dropped its much-hyped watch on the market.

By comparison, Apple's iconic iPhone shipped just under 40 million units last quarter making it by far the most popular product from Apple. The iPad shipped just 12.3 million units and Mac shipments were 5.5 million units.

This wouldn't be worth noting, if not for the reports that the Apple Watch in many of its configurations will be priced on a par with the iPad and Mac systems. While the cheapest Apple Watch configuration will be a relatively affordable US$350, the price will climb steadily from there to a reported $500 price tag on the stainless steel model and as much as $5,000 for the fancy 18k gold "robbery beacon" model.

Certainly the Apple Watch's debut has met with more fanfare and anticipation than other smartwatch models. With a stylish design and a built-in market of Apple fans not afraid to splurge on hardware, the company could make a lot of early sales, although Canalys big cheese Steve Brazier worries its lack of a sweat-sniffing sensor makes it mundane. ®

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