Apple is expanding sales of the Apple Watch beyond its own stores and website to US retail giant Best Buy.
Those industry watchers trying to deduce how many Watches Apple has really sold may have reason to ratchet up their estimates soon, with Best Buy announcing plans to sell the Watch at 300 stores in the US as well as on its website.
Some models of the Watch, which start at $350 before tax, will be available at 100 stores from August 7. Another 200 Best Buy outlets will begin selling them ahead of the holiday season.
"The Apple Watch is a big addition to our stores and website, and we know our customers want it," Jason Bonfig, a senior category officer at Best Buy, said in a statement. "We are excited to bring the Apple Watch to more consumers, especially with the holidays coming up."
The retailer will stock 16 of the total 30 Apple Watch models - from both the Sport and Watch lines, in both the 38mm and 42mm sizes - as well watch bands and other accessories. The Watch will be sold alongside rival devices from Samsung, LG, and others. Eight models in Apple's Watch Edition collection, which start at $10,000, won't go on sale at Best Buy.
Best Buy is the first mass-market, non-Apple retailer to take on the Apple Watch and comes one month after Apple began selling the device in its own stores. Apple did make the Watch available at some luxury boutiques at launch, including Mayfield in the US, Collette in Paris, Dover Street Market in London, and The Corner in Berlin.
Apple didn't break out the number of Watch devices it sold last quarter leaving analytics firms and analysts to fill in the void. Strategy Analytics estimated that Apple shipped four million units last quarter, which would give the company a 75 percent share of the global smartwatch market.
At last week's earnings update, Apple chief Tim Cook could would only say that the Apple Watch had a "great start", keeping in line with previous bullish statements about the Watch's popularity. He did however reject claims in a report that Apple sales were slowing.
Slice Intelligence, which measures online purchases, earlier this month said that daily sales of the Watch in the beginning of July were down 90 percent compared to sales from the first week it was available.
Despite doubts about how well the Watch is chiming with consumer tastes, one fresh survey suggests that at least those who've made the plunge are pretty happy with it. The survey of 800 Apple Watch owners found that 31 percent were "somewhat satisfied" while 66 percent were "very satisfied/delighted", meaning 97 percent were happy with their purchase.
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