I wouldn't be surprised if that turns out to be true. Apple fans are famous for standing in line to buy most anything new with the Apple name on it, and Smartwatches have been heavily promoted for a while. So, I think there is likely a very significant market waiting to buy Apple's entry. And likely too is that analysts will jump on those huge sales to explain the arrival finally of Smartwatches.
Left out of the story about major Apple Watch sales, however, is that I also think most of the consumers will be disappointed.
This isn't a criticism about the Apple Watch, but Smartwatches in general. All Smartwatches today are very expensive, they require owning a Smartphone, they duplicate what a Smartphone does, they don't do what a Smartphone does nearly as well as the Smartphone, they're large sitting on the wrist (especially for women and children, which is significantly over half the customer base), and they're a bit cumbersome to use, particularly for making phone calls. And have short battery lives.
And I think that when the excited Apple fans buy their Apple Watches in big numbers, they'll be very excited at first and love them, love the novelty of them, love justifying the expense of them -- and then eventually Smartwatch Reality will set in, and they'll be like that wonderful fondue set you got as a gift and planned to have fondue every Sunday, and it's now sitting in its box in the closet.
I find it notable that when CNET quoted the executive director of Strategy Analytics Neil Mawston, who gave the Apple Watch a glowing outlook for sales, to the degree of saying it will be "the catalyst to the global smartwatch market," even he, for all his glowing words, had a caveat that you discovered if you read deeper into the article.
"Apple's first-generation Watch is not yet perfect," Mawston said. "For example, Apple's Watch hardware design is arguably less attractive than some rival models such as the Huawei Watch, battery life may not be as long as many traditional wristwatch owners are used to, and Apple's premium pricing may be challenging for mass-market consumers. Apple will need to upgrade tangibly its second-generation Watch to stay ahead of competitors later this year."
And that's from someone who had just been quoted saying how big the sales would be, jump-starting the industry. Moreover, as significant as those "not yet perfect" issues are, I think that Mr. Mawston leaves out all the other aforementioned problems that are generic to all Smartwatches.
(Further, there's one other Apple-specific issue. Apple loyalists are proud to show off their Apple products, whose sleek designs make clear that an Apple product is being used. But the Apple Watch looks largely like any other Smartwatch from afar. And quite similar, even close up, up with those circular icons, which I've seen on a few other Smartwatches. Apple fans might possibly be disappointed in being mistaken for being The Other Guy.)
It may also be wishful thinking to say Apple will have to not only upgrade, but upgrade "tangibly" with the second-generation Apple Watch, since that presupposes the market will be there if word gets around that even Apple fans are unhappy with the Smartwatch experience. That's potentially like saying makers of 3D televisions will have to "upgrade tangibly" with their second generation 3D-TVs. For those of you waiting for your second generation 3D-TV, you might want to get a snack in the meantime.
To be clear, I don't think that's a perfectly fair comparison because I do think that Smartwatches have a future. I have a friend who bought an LG Smartwatch, and loves it -- but he's also a tech geek, who writes about technology. But...the "tangible upgrade" required is really more a case of being a significant one rather than being merely tangible. The whole industry is going to have to figure out how to make Smartwatches smaller, yet still having a face that's readable, and not require that users have to also own a Smartphone, and with a much better camera and battery life. That's a huge hurdle. Not inherently insurmountable, but huge nonetheless..