Where are the official Apple Watch sales figures?

While there are no end of guestimates as to how many Apple Watches have shipped since its release, many are wondering why official figures aren't forthcoming. It's because Apple doesn't want you - and its competitors - to know how it's selling.

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While there are no end of guestimates as to how many Apple Watches have shipped since its release, many are wondering why official figures aren't forthcoming. It's because Apple doesn't want you - and its competitors - to know how it's selling.

There are no shortage of analysts and pundits willing to fill that information vacuum. Latest estimates, this time from Slice Intelligence, a research firm that mines e-mail receipts, suggest that 2.79 million units have been sold as of mid-June. Additionally, the company claims that some 20 percent of buyers are also getting a second band for their Apple Watch. Given that spare bands start at $49, and that research firm IHS claim that the cheapest bands only cost Apple about $2 to make, these are likely to be generating healthy profits.

But nothing beats official numbers, and so far Apple is being unusually tight-lipped when it comes to sales. Back when the iPhone 6 was released we were treated to preorder numbers followed by the first weekend sales in a little over a week.

Now Apple did indicate that it might play Apple Watch numbers close to its chest before the product even started to ship. During the Q4 2014 earnings call, Nancy Paxton, Apple's Senior Director of Investor Relations, said that Apple Watch revenues would be reported in a category called "Other Products," along with iPods, headphones, speakers and other accessories. CEO Tim Cook also told listening analysts that he was "not very anxious in reporting a lot of numbers on Apple Watch" or in "giving a lot of detail on it" because "our competitors are looking for it."

So Apple doesn't want its competitors to know how the Apple Watch is selling. The problem with this is that this means that developers, third-party accessory makers, and investors, are also being kept in the dark. Investors are going to be happy as long as the money keeps on rolling in, but developers and accessory makers might be wary of investing a lot of effort into a platform that is showing sluggish growth. And Apple knows that releasing sales information about the Apple Watch that could likely be interpreted as poor sales is more damaging than saying nothing at all.

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