Analyst: Apple’s iWatch could generate $17.5B in first year

Apple(s aapl) could be sitting on a potential goldmine, according to Morgan Stanley analysts. In a research note to investors on Tuesday, the firm noted that the rumored iWatch could generate up to $17.5 billion in first-year sales, outpacing the iPad, which debuted at $12 billion.
That $17.5 billion figure assumes a price tag for the iWatch of $299 and a well-stocked supply chain. If Apple were to face supply chain constraints — as it did with the iPhone 5s — revenue could fall to $10 to $14 billion, which is still pretty impressive.
The reason for such a high estimate is because Morgan Stanley believes the iWatch will function as an accessory to Apple’s other iOS devices. “Our working assumption is that iWatch largely will be adopted as an accessory device and, therefore, sold into the existing customer base, like the iPad, rather than to new customers, like the iPod or iPhone,” the research note said. This would create potential customers out of the millions of iOS device owners currently out there — and could drive new customers to buy into the ecosystem.
There’s still no word on when — or if — Apple will release the iWatch. But after its recent record-setting first quarter failed to impress investors, the iWatch could give the company a secret weapon to really shatter analyst expectations.