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5M Apple Watches to ship, minus one key feature

Apple is ditching the health tracking functions of the Apple Watch, which is going to start shipping in April.

Why? "They sorta had to," said CNET senior editor Jeff Bakalar. "Because it's not working."

Apple Watch coming this April: What you need to know about Apple's first smartwatch
Apple Watch coming this April: What you need to know about Apple's first smartwatch

Apple touted a new health and fitness app when they first announced the Apple Watch back in September. Since then its remained a highlight of what to expect, and it was evidently still a part of the plan when details of the watch leaked in January.

"They were going for some super groundbreaking and innovative health tracking stuff," said Bakalar. "Heartbeat tracking, stress monitoring. In their testing it wasn't filling that sort of void that's in the market for fitness apps right now."

And though, with the significant interest in fitness trackers among consumers right now, this decision could deter buyers who were on the fence about going all in on an Apple Watch versus a less expensive band, Apple is none too worried about a dip in demand. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company has ordered somewhere between 5 and 6 million units for the initial run of the product.

Half of those will reportedly be the Apple Watch Sport model, on the cheaper end of the style spectrum at $349. The mid-tier Apple Watch is expected to account for one-third of output, according to the Journal.

For the sake of comparison, in Apple's last major foray into a new product space five years ago, the company sold 7.5 million iPads in the first six months.

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