The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has ordered between 5 and 6 million Apple Watch units. The order is apparently comprised of all three upcoming models: the Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch Edition. As reported earlier, the entry-level Sportis said to make up half of this initial run, with the stainless steel Apple Watch making up one-third.
Orders for Apple Watch Edition – the high-end model featuring 18-karat gold casing – are relatively small in the first quarter but Apple plans to start producing more than one million units per month in the second quarter, the person said. Analysts expect demand for the high-end watches to be strong in China where Apple's sales are booming.
While 5 to 6 million seems like a solid number, it comes from supply chain sources, which can be unreliable on these matters. It's possible that Apple has ordered a lot more than 5 million units, according to Ben Bajarin:
I have multiple supply chain sources which suggest a lot more than 5m Apple Watches being built.— Ben Bajarin (@BenBajarin) February 17, 2015
CEO Tim Cook announced on Apple's most recent earnings call that the Apple Watch is expected to ship in April 2015.