​Apple sends invite out for March 9: Apple Watch countdown starts

Apple is expected to detail the Apple Watch rollout at a March 9 event, but other products may also be highlighted and refreshed.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Apple has sent out invites for a "Spring Forward" event in San Francisco March 9 that is likely to cover its next wave of products. The headliner is likely to be the Apple Watch.

The timing of the Apple event is notable given that Mobile World Congress kicks off in Barcelona next week. Apple's event is timed to let the Android crowd show off its wares and then swoop in for a final say.

As for the specific product announcements for March 9, most observers are expecting more details on the Apple Watch. Estimates for initial units are all over the map. BMO Capital analyst Keith Bachman is expecting 19 million Apple Watch units to be sold in calendar 2015 with 10 million of those in the December quarter.

While the Apple Watch could be front and center, the company could also outline the plan for the iPad, which needs a sales growth infusion. Apple CEO Tim Cook has maintained that the iPad has a long-tail sales cycle and could be an enterprise juggernaut. A refresh for the iPad could come in handy given Apple's partnership with IBM. Also see: Apple needs the iPad to be 'long arc,' enterprise driven

Another item worth noting is that the March 9 event will land as Samsung, HTC and others outline their answers to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. A new wave of Android products could at least slow the iPhone momentum until the summer when Apple historically outlines its next model for the September time frame.

When you boil it all down, Apple's March 9 event is really about product cadence and a baton handoff to a new batch of products---led by the Apple Watch.

Here's a look at Bachman's take on the Apple Watch forecasts.

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