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Wearable Tech

Best Buy to expand sales of Apple Watch to all its stores next month

The electronics retailer will start selling the Apple Watch at all 1,050 of its stores by the end of September.

The Apple Watch is headed to more Best Buy stores. CNET

The Apple Watch appears to be a hit at Best Buy. To capitalize on that demand, the electronics retailer plans to carry the smartwatch in all its stores by the end of next month.

Best Buy will sell the Apple Watch in 900 stores starting September 4, CEO Hubert Joly said during the company's earnings call Tuesday. The retailer will expand that coverage further to all 1,050 of its stores, as well as approximately 30 Best Buy Mobile stores, by the end of September, Joly added.

Demand for the Apple Watch has been strong in stores and online via BestBuy.com, Joly said. Best Buy began selling the Apple Watch in 100 stores earlier this month, with plans to expand to another 200 before the holiday shopping season. It was one of the first major retailers outside of Apple own stores to sell the Apple Watch. Best Buy offers the Apple Watch Sport, which starts at $349, and the Apple Watch, which starts at $549, as well as a variety of straps and other accessories for the smartwatch.

Apple has so far declined to release sales figures for the Apple Watch, its first foray into wearable devices. At first, the smartwatch was available only through online orders via Apple's website and didn't reach the shelves of Apple retail stores until mid-June, likely due to higher demand than supply when it first launched.

In July, during a conference call following the release of Apple's financial results, CEO Tim Cook said that "sales of the watch did exceed my expectations, despite supply trailing demand at the end of the quarter." Analyst predictions for Apple Watch sales for last quarter ranged from a low of 2.85 million to a high of 5.7 million, resulting in an average of around 4 million.

Even with limited availability in physical retail locations, the Apple Watch quickly dominated the smartwatch market after its introduction in April. In the second quarter of this year, 76 percent of smartwatches came from Apple, according to Strategy Analytics, while Samsung -- which has launched a handful of smartwatches, including the Galaxy Gear and Gear Live -- saw its slice of the market tumble to 7.5 percent. However, the Apple Watch will soon face competition from a new wave of smartwatches powered by Google's Android Wear software. Next week at the IFA electronics trade show in Berlin, Asus, Huawei, LG and Motorola all plan to introduce new smartwatches running Android Wear.

Best Buy also announced Tuesday that it's updating its 750 Apple "stores-within-a-store," with larger displays and more devices. Best Buy will also begin offering AppleCare, a service and support plan for Apple devices, later this quarter, Joly said.