APPLE HAS REPORTEDLY asked its suppliers to make between five and six million Apple Watch units ahead of its impending April release.
That's according to The Wall Street Journal, which has heard from people "familiar with the matter" that Apple is expecting to shift up to six million smartwatches in the first few months of release.
In comparison, Google shipped just 720,000 Android Wear-powered wearables in 2014, according to research firm Canalys.
Half of Apple's orders are reportedly for the cheapest version, the Apple Watch Sport, which will cost $349 when it goes on sale. The mid-tier Apple Watch, for which pricing details have not yet been announced, is said to make up a third of orders.
The report, which Apple declined to comment on, claims that orders for the most expensive model, the Apple Watch Edition, are "relatively small" in the first quarter, perhaps unsurprising given its mooted $4,000 price tag.
However, Apple reportedly plans to ramp up production of the high-end model in the second quarter, when the WSJ's sources claim that the firm will start producing more than one million units.
If analyst predictions are to be believed, production for all Apple Watch models is likely to pick up later in the year. A report from research firm CCS Insight claims that Apple will account for a quarter of the wearables market in 2015, selling around 20 million units by the end of the year.
Sales of the Apple Watch are expected to be bumper, but it was revealed this week that the smartwatch isn't all that Apple had hoped it to be.
A report, again via the WSJ, said that Apple had planned to stuff its debut smartwatch full of health features, including sensors that measure blood pressure, heart activity and stress levels.
However, the sensors reportedly failed to meet Apple's strict standards, providing inaccurate results if the wearer had hairy arms or dry skin, for example, or wore the Apple Watch too tightly.
Check out our Apple Watch release date, price and specs roundup. µ
Firm's first high-end speaker gets the thumbs up from us
Yes. Yes you can
A fantastic ultraportable that's almost devoid of innovation
Screen if you want to go faster