Tim Cook: Apple Watch Sales Set Record in Holiday Week

Julia Love, reporting for Reuters:

Responding to an email from Reuters, Cook said the gadget’s sell-through — a measure of how many units are sold to consumers, rather than simply stocked on retailers’ shelves - reached a new high. […]

“Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year,” Cook wrote.

“Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history. And as we expected, we’re on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch,” he said.

This is in response to a widely-circulated report from IDC yesterday, claiming Apple Watch sales fell 71 percent in the third calendar quarter. IDC often pulls numbers out of its collective ass — they’re the outfit that claimed back in 2011 that Windows Phone would overtake the iPhone by 2015 — but these things could both be true. (Although it does look like IDC’s estimate is far short.)

Comparing Apple Watch sales in the third calendar quarter this year to last year is not meaningful. Last year the Apple Watch was still a brand-new product in July–September, drawing sales from early adopters. And remember that Apple Watch was extremely supply-constrained when it hit the market in May 2015. Many models were back-ordered for 6–8 weeks. This year, Apple Watch was a year-old product in those months, with many would-be purchasers correctly predicting that Apple would introduce new models in September.

Common sense suggests that the Apple Watch sales cycle is going to look a lot like the iPod’s — with truly humongous spikes in the holiday quarter. That’s when the new models come out, and it’s a natural gift.

Smartwatches in general might be suffering, but it’s looking more and more like Apple Watch is a hit.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016