Apple Inc. could sell as many as 15 million units of Apple Watch worldwide this year, according to new data from intelligence company Strategy Analytics. This comes in just shy of forecasts released earlier on Thursday by Deutsche Bank analyst Sherri Scribner, who is projecting 17.6 million watches. At that number, Apple, expected to launch the watch in early April, would be the world's biggest smartwatch vendor, holding a 55% share of the global market this year, according to Strategy Analytics. While the market for smartwatches has yet to be proven given the lack of blockbuster sales from Apple Watch predecessors, analysts believe the watch will help spark interest in the category. Total global smartwatch shipments are predicted to grow 511% to 28.1 million units this year from just 4.6 million in 2014, according to Strategy Analytics. Earlier on Thursday, Deutsche Bank predicted that the Apple Watch would become a $26 billion business by 2018. Shares of Apple fell 1.3% to $126.83 in recent trade.
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