The Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) Watch smart watch is a hit, at least at Best Buy. The retailer said it plans to increase the number of stores in which it sells the gadget by 10-fold over the next month due to high demand.
During Best Buy's second fiscal quarter earnings call yesterday, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly noted that the Apple Watch went on sale online through Best Buy and in more than 100 stores earlier in August.
"Now because demand for Apple Watch has been so strong in these stores and online, we are excited to share that beginning September 4 we will be carrying Apple Watch in more than 900 of our big-box stores," Joly said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript of the call. "Apple Watch will be available in all 1,050 of our big-box stores and in approximately 30 of our Best Buy Mobile Stores by the end of September."
Joly told Bloomberg that sales of the watch have "performed so well that, together with Apple, we've decided to roll it out." Best Buy started offering Apple Watch models for between $349 and $700 less than three weeks ago.
Apple has not provided sales figures for the watch. However, Apple indicated in July it had sole more Apple Watches in the device's first nine weeks of availability than it had over similar periods when the iPod or iPhone were originally introduced.
"We looked back at similar periods for iPhone and iPad when they were originally launched, and we've actually sold more Apple Watches than we sold iPhone and iPad at the time," Apple CFO Luca Maestri told Bloomberg. "We feel very good about the start and what we feel particularly happy about is, frankly, the customer response, the feedback we're getting."
Before the Best Buy expansion, the Apple Watch was only available in a relatively small number of retail outlets, including Apple retail stores and luxury outlets around the globe.
Apple has quickly taken over as the dominant smart watch player since it started selling its watch in April. As CNET notes, in the second quarter of this year, 76 percent of smart watches were estimated to have come from Apple, according to research firm Strategy Analytics, while Samsung Electronics, which had similarly dominated the category, saw its share of the market plummet to 7.5 percent. However, Apple will soon have more competition, as Asus, Huawei, LG Electronics and Motorola Mobility all plan to introduce new smart watches running Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android Wear software next week at the IFA electronics trade show in Berlin.
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Fortune article
- see this The Verge article
- see this CNET article
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