First-year sales of the anticipated iWatch could bring $17.5 billion to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty.
Huberty’s estimate, which came in a research note on Tuesday, would have the iWatch outstrip even the impressive $12 billion debut brought by the iPad, according to Apple Insider.
Apple's worldwide sales in 2013 came to just over $170 billion, and the iWatch could add a sizeable chunk to that figure.
The very enthusiastic figure comes from the company’s positioning of the iWatch as a natural accessory to tens of millions of existing iOS devices, rather than a product akin to the iPod and iPhone at their introduction. As an addition, iWatch could appeal to existing owners of the iPhone and iPad, as well as first-time Apple mobile device buyers.
Huberty assumes an average selling price of $299 and no supply chain constraints for her calculation. In the case of product constriction, however, she believes revenue would fall to between $10 and $14 billion.
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Apple has still not made the official announcement, but many analysts believe the 30 percent year-over-year increases in research and development from 2010 onward makes the company’s entrance into the market inevitable.
"[Apple’s] guidance for $10.45B of capital expenditures (non-cash and excluding retail stores) for FY14, which Apple just reaffirmed in the latest 10-Q, is up 32% from $7.9B in FY13,” Huberty wrote, according to Apple Insider. “We believe this is an indication that Apple is investing in new product categories as single-digit iPhone and iPad growth no longer demands significant increases in capital expenditures.”
The iWatch is expected to contain advanced biometric capabilities, as well as benefit from Apple’s recent hiring of fashion and medical industry veterans, including former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve, Nike design director Ben Shaffer and medical devices veteran Michael O’Reilly, which could make the device truly revolutionary and encompassing in function and scope.