Market Research Firm Estimates Apple Watch Orders on First Day

I would take these numbers with an enormous grain of salt, given the methodology: Slice Intelligence is an opt-in service that reads your email and gleans receipts from your inbox. I really have no idea what type of person would opt into such a service, but of their 2 million customers, 9,080 bought one or more Apple Watches on the first day, and they extrapolated from this:

Despite ho-hum reviews, even by some of the most ardent Apple fans, Slice Intelligence estimates that 957,000 people in the U.S. pre-ordered an Apple Watch on Friday, the first day the watch was available for sale. According to ereceipt [sic] data from a panel of two million online shoppers, each Apple Watch buyer ordered an average of 1.3 watches, spending $503.83 per watch. Those ordering an Apple Watch Sport spent $382.83 per watch and those ordering the Apple Watch spent $707.04.

Apple has not announced any numbers regarding pre-orders, and I don’t think they’re going to — they announced months ago that they will not be breaking out watch revenue numbers or unit sales in financial reports, for competitive reasons. So we’re left with conjecture like this report from Slice Intelligence.

I’ve seen this report linked all over the news today, and many of the headlines state something to the effect that Apple sold “one million” watches. First, it’s just wrong to take these estimates as fact — any credible headline needs to emphasize that these figures are estimates. Second, I can’t find any record of Slice Intelligence having made similar estimates of Apple product sales in that past — estimates that we could double check against what Apple eventually reported.

But third, “one million pre-orders” is not what Slice even claims. They’re saying “957,000 people in the U.S. pre-ordered an Apple Watch on Friday” and that each ordered an average of 1.3 watches. That’s 1.25 million watches — and it’s only for the U.S. Apple Watch went on sale in nine countries last week, all of them major markets. So even if you believe Slice’s estimates are accurate, they imply that customers around the world ordered millions of Apple Watches, plural, on the first day.

Monday, 13 April 2015