Apple’s Watch could be its most profitable item ever

Photograph by Mike Segar — Reuters

The Apple Watch, which goes on sale on Friday, could be Apple’s (AAPL) most profitable item to date, if a market researcher’s analysis is correct.

Carl Howe from Thing Big Analytics wrote in a blog post that the tech giant has sold over 3 million units already, including an estimated 1.8 million Sport models and 40,000 Edition models, Business Insider reported. He also doesn’t believe the delays in shipping signified poor planning on Apple’s part, but rather part of the strategy to make the new product even more desirable to consumers.

Howe wrote about the Apple Watch’s profitability and broke down the figures based on models sold:

My belief is that the Apple Watch product line will become Apple’s most profitable product line ever, with gross margins exceeding 60 percent. Why? Because the core electronics modules in the expensive models are the same ones used in the Sport models, and they just don’t cost that much.

In his blog post, he added:

The model suggests that while Sport Watch will lead sales in volume, selling 1.8 million units through May 8, Apple Watch will actually lead in revenue during that period, garnering about $900 million versus Sport’s $675 million. I also believe that Apple’s decision to introduce the Edition will be validated by $500 million in sales on only 40,000 units.

Howe believes that the slow Apple Watch rollout helped the company “figure out which of the 38 or so different models people really want.”

In January, Apple reported earnings of $3.06 per share on revenue of $74.6 billion. The company will report earnings for the next quarter on April 27.

For more on Apple, read Fortune’s recent feature story Apple’s Tim Cook leads different.
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