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Apple orders up to 6 million Watches for its initial sales run

February 17, 2015, 2:13 PM UTC
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CUPERTINO, CA - SEPTEMBER 09: Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about the Apple Watch during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California. Apple unveiled the Apple Watch wearable tech and two new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Photograph by Justin Sullivan — Getty Images

Apple has asked its Asian suppliers to make 5-6 million units of its three Apple Watch models for the first-quarter, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Taiwan-based Quanta Computer, the sole assembler of the Apple Watch, started mass production earlier this year to get ready for an April launch, the Journal said.

Thousands will work round the clock during the Chinese New Year holidays at Quanta’s factory in Changshu, China, the newspaper reported, quoting one person.

Apple (AAPL) said it does not comment on rumor or speculation.

The entry-level Apple Watch Sport model accounts for half the production order, while the mid-tiered Apple Watch will count for a third, one person told the newspaper.

The high-end Apple Watch Edition with 18-karat gold casing, is expected to have relatively small orders in the first quarter, but Apple plans to produce more than 1 million units per month in the second quarter, the Journal reported, citing the person.

The Apple Watch, starting at $349, can receive phone calls and messages, play music, serve as a digital wallet to pay for goods and monitor heart rates via special sensors.
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When Apple’s Watch was conceived its developers saw it as a high-tech health-monitoring device that could measure blood pressure, heart activity and stress levels.

But none of those technologies will be included in the Watch when it launches, according to the Journal.