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Apple Watch US pre-orders estimated at 1M

Apple's first foray into the world of the smartwatch generated nearly 1 million pre-orders in the United States on Friday, according to early estimates by the research firm Slice Intelligence.

Using e-receipt data, the company said that 957,000 people in the U.S. placed orders for an Apple Watch on the first day it became available.

A shopper touches the screen of an Apple Watch in New York.
Mike Segar | Reuters
A shopper touches the screen of an Apple Watch in New York.

The hotly-anticipated watch sold out online within hours. Buyers of some models won't receive their devices until May, while others will have to wait until July.

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Slice Intelligence looked at sample data from 2 million people with 9,080 of them saying they bought the Apple Watch. Each Apple Watch buyer ordered an average of 1.3 watches and spent an average of $503.83 per device, it said.

High-end luxury audience

Unlike many Apple product launches, there were no fans queuing around the block Friday because the devices were only available for pre-order online.

Apple touted the design of the Watch at its launch in March and the devices have a number of interchangeable bands. The global launch means people in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S, can now pre-order a device.

In an attempt to create exclusivity and capture a high-end, luxury audience, Apple has even released an 18-karat gold version known as the Edition which starts at $10,000. The Apple Watch Sport starts at $349, while the Apple Watch starts at $549.

Slice Intelligence said that U.S. customers spent an average of $382.83 on the Apple Watch Sport and $707.04 on the Apple Watch.

This is Apple's first foray into wearable technology, despite many competitors such as Samsung and Motorola already releasing several smartwatches.

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A range of estimates have flooded in regarding how many Apple Watches will be shipped. JPMorgan predicted that Apple will ship 26.3 million units in 2015, and Bernstein projected that 7.5 million units will be sold in the second half of the year, and 20 million sold in 2016.

Angelo Zino, a senior industry analyst of equity research at S&P Capital IQ, told CNBC that he expected 10 million units to be shipped in 2015.

Delving deeper into its data, Slice Intelligence said that 72 percent of the U.S. watch buyers had purchased an Apple product in the past two years and 21 percent of them pre-ordered an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus just months ago.

It added that most consumers—around 62 percent—purchased the less-expensive Sport model.

—CNBC's Jacob Pramuk and Arjun Kharpal contributed to this article.