NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Are you still breathlessly waiting for the release of Apple's (AAPL) first smartwatch? Then you should count yourself among a small minority who are still interested at this point.
Piper Jaffray's Senior Research Analyst Gene Munster believes interest in the forthcoming wearable is waning. According to the Apple expert, fewer and fewer potential customers are considering buying the announced-but-yet-to-be-released Apple Watch as time goes on.
Munster surveyed nearly 1,000 iPhone owners and potential Watch buyers and found that only 7% are still interested. That's down from a high of 10% back in September, when Apple officially announced the product.
Apple says its Watch will retail for $350 and up. A mid-priced stainless steel model is expected to sell for around $500 and there will also be a super-luxury, 18 karat gold model estimated to be priced as high as $4,000 to $5,000.
Apple shareswere flat at about $113 in morning trading in New York.
When all is said and done, Munster estimates that Apple will sell as many as 10 million smartwatches in its first year on the market. Others estimate Apple will sell anywhere from 10 million to as many as 30 million units in 2015.
The product will immediately compete with smartwatches already on the market from Samsung (SSNLF) , Sony (SNE) , Motorola (Moto 360 review), LG, Asus (review), Pebble, Microsoft (MSFT) and others. Most of the competition runs on Google's (GOOG) Android Wear operating system software.
But sales should improve when the Watch actually comes to market and potential customers can actually see the device in person. In the recent past, nearly 35% of iPhone owners said they were going to buy an iPad after seeing the original Apple tablet for the first time.
Munster believes that after the first year things will really heat up in 2016. By that time there should be a large number of new apps available for the smaller screen format. As for larger-screened products, Munster predicts we will also finally see the release of Apple's much-rumored smart TV set in 2016.
-- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.
To submit a news tip, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.