×

Don't expect Apple Watch breakout yet: Analyst

Apple announced details of its highly anticipated new watch Monday, but one prominent analyst told CNBC he's not bullish on prospects for sales of the wearable, at least this year.

Gene Munster, who covers Apple for Piper Jaffray, is expecting the tech giant will sell 8 million units this year, as opposed to the Street's consensus for 14 million.

"We think it's best to be conservative because a lot of the value in this is going to be determined by the app developers and that's just starting out," he said Monday in an interview with "Power Lunch."

The average person is likely thinking about the Apple Watch as a gift, Munster said. He thinks the first big breakout quarter will be in December 2016.

"This is going to be a huge category for Apple but it is going to take some time to get some momentum behind it," said Munster, who has an "overweight" rating on the company and a $160 price target.

The Apple Watch starts at $349. Midrange versions start at $549 and its most expensive model, the Apple Watch Edition, starts at $10,000.

The watch allows users to receive calls, communicate by tapping on the interface and features a variety of apps measuring the wearer's health and vital signs.

Read More Apple Watch has 18 hour battery, starts at $349

Munster doesn't think the watch's success is priced into Apple stock right now.

"As soon as it actually takes off, I think that's going to be upside to the shares," he said.

The watch also will have higher margins than the iPhone, Munster pointed out, so while units sold may not be that impactful, a slight lift in margins will be good for the stock.

Channing Smith, managing director at Capital Advisors, also thinks consumers will be slow to adopt the Apple Watch.

The iPod, iPad and iPhone were "life changers," he said on the program. "If you have an iPhone in your pocket we don't really understand why you need a device on your wrist."

Read MoreApple's big Watch problem: The wearable market

Smith, who recently trimmed his shares of Apple, is excited about the watch but doesn't think sales will "move the needle."

"We think there's a lot of great innovation coming but earnings are going to slow. It's just natural, that's where we are in the cycle," he said.

For Ivan Feinseth, chief investment officer and managing director of Tigress Financial, the watch is really an extension of the iPhone and will expand the Apple ecosystem.

"The launch of the watch is just another way of expanding people's connectivity to the phone and I think the more Apple products you buy, the more Apple products you tend to buy in the future," he said on "Power Lunch."

Read MoreHow to protect your Apple shares for free

He thinks the most powerful driver of the watch is its fitness component, like apps that can act as a heart rate monitor.

Jerry Castellini, president and CIO of CastleArk Management, thinks Apple can hit $140-$150 a share in six to 12 months.

"Apple has too many good things going for it, it has too great of a balance sheet and has too many unique and innovative products for the stock to be still trading at a market discount," the Apple shareholder told the program.

"There is more behind it now then there probably has been in the last couple of years and when you see a company like that trading at a discount to the market, generally you have a wind at the back," he added.

For Silicon Valley venture capitalist Mark Siegel, the Apple Watch is all about the apps.

"We're looking to see if there will be a whole new ecosystem specifically around the watch that creates a whole new level of utility," the Menlo Ventures managing director said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

While he thinks the wearable could be a huge product for Apple, he's advising caution to start-ups looking to develop apps for the watch.

"We're going to probably wait and see what happens with watch sales in terms of number of units because thus far smartwatch shipments have really been pretty disappointing, maybe about 5 million smartwatches shipped," he said.

Tim Cook's legacy

Meanwhile, the launch of the Apple Watch shows that Tim Cook has his own mind, The Aspen Institute's Walter Isaacson told "Closing Bell."

"Tim Cook understands health, understands fitness and so I think his mark is on this," said Isaacson, also a CNBC contributor and author of "The Innovators."

"This is something I certainly want."

Read MorePoll: Would you buy an Apple Watch?

There are also unlimited possibilities for the future, he said.

"If it's keeping my medical records, if it's taking care of my parking meter for me, if it's keeping track of my heart rate, if it's making sure that Uber is getting there on time, these are things we never thought of five or six years ago," he said.

"Imagine what we're going to think of five years from now that people are going to be able to do with this watch."

Ben Parr, co-founder and managing director of the venture capital firm, DominateFund, said Cook has done a great job of managing Apple's existing products but believes the watch will define Cook's legacy.

"People have been clamoring for a few years for a new product for that vision and this is really the first time you get to see whether or not Tim Cook's stamp of approval … will be a hit or not," he said in a separate interview with "Closing Bell."

—CNBC's Matt Hunter contributed to this report.

Disclaimer