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Apple Watch: Big early sales, mixed reviews

Apple Watch, Apple

Apple Watch, Apple

The Apple Watch may be officially be available from April 24, but droves are already exhausting early orders.

Almost 1 million people in the U.S. took to pre-ordering the long-awaited bit of wrist technology, and that was said to be on Friday alone. According to Slice Intelligence, 957,000 ordered the watch on the very first day sales began, which tops the 720,000 Android Wear smart watches shipped all of last year.

Australians have also embraced early orders, with many reporting certain units on the Australian Online Apple Store have already been pushed back all the way to June.

Finder reports that around 800,000 Aussies intend to purchase an Apple Watch with pre-sales from 5pm today (AEST), meaning 4.2 per cent of the country’s adult population will be heading online to get the watch.

“With some 370,000 smart watches sold here in 2014, Australians are certainly warming to adopting wearable devices, with the market poised to exceed $400 million by 2018,” Finder Money Expert Michelle Hutchison said.

“The arrival of the Apple Watch is set to grow the smart watch market by at least 50 percent this year alone.”

Apple is certainly showing their power as a brand people love, with early sales skyrocketing despite mixed reviews.

An early CNET review saw the Apple Watch receive a score of 3.5/5, commending the wearable device’s design, software and features, but criticizing it for a poor battery life and confusing interface.

The folks over at The Verge gave a similar review, giving the Apple Watch a score of 7/10. The device’s design, ripe platform and Taptic Engine were pointed out as highlights, while performance issues (some apps and location services), intrusive notifications, and a hefty price tag were highlighted as negatives.

The mixed reviews are but early words on a product that will no doubt develop further, as apps are brought in and the system is updated according to user feedback, but analysts are nevertheless paying close attention. Major analysts have downgraded Apple Stock, highlighting mixed Apple Watch reviews and an expected drop in Apple iPhone sales as reasons for caution.

Time will tell whether or not the Apple Watch solidifies itself as a widely-used bit of technology akin to the iPhone, but, at least looking at the early sales, it’s certainly off to a confident start.