Cook denies Apple Watch sales 'collapse,' says shipments peaked in June

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited July 2015
Despite estimates to the contrary, Apple Watch sales didn't fall off a cliff just months after launch, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday, adding the device actually posted its best-ever performance in June.



The tidbit came out in response to a question posed near the tail end of Apple's quarterly conference call for the third quarter of 2015. Cook, who was expectedly cagey and dodged multiple queries regarding Apple Watch shipment numbers, refuted recent reports speculating that sales rates have declined since launch.

Instead of faltering, Cook revealed Apple Watch sales in June were higher than April or May, an impressive statistic considering overwhelming launch day demand. Stock quickly dwindled when Watch preorders went live on April 10, with all models hit by shipping delays within minutes of going live. Other versions, like the solid gold Apple Watch Edition, showed up as unavailable out of the gate.

Earlier this month, a report from research firm Slice Intelligence picked up by numerous media outlets said Internet-based Apple Watch sales steeply declined to "fewer than 20,000 units per day in June." Pundits assigned the metric overweighted significance to overall sales performance, thereby concluding Watch, the first product to be developed under Cook, was doomed. Slice, suffering blowback after the report gained mainstream media attention, claimed it clearly specified to reporters that data only reflected online statistics.

Apple decided to include Watch shipment numbers in a catchall accounting category dubbed "Other Products" -- comprised of iPod, Apple TV, Beats hardware, peripherals and more -- in a strategic move meant to conceal real market performance from competitors. Segment revenues expectedly saw dramatic growth in the third quarter, but Cook was quick to point out that it's impossible to extrapolate exact figures from today's earnings release.

Cook did say Watch sales exceeded internal expectations and offset waning revenues from iPod, but the metric offers little insight into hard numbers. In an interview with The New York Times, however, CFO Luca Maestri said the first nine weeks of Watch sales exceeded those of the iPhone and iPad when those devices first launched. Considering those products saw massive subsequent adoption, Apple Watch's future looks bright, especially moving into the holiday shopping season.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 118
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    I've written that I'd wait for the 2nd or 3rd gen watch before jumping in, but if the next iteration is sold as being waterproof and with a greater variety of sports bands, it could speed my purchase decision.
  • Reply 2 of 118
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,362member
    Seems pretty damn impressive that June surpassed their launch month, since Apple products obviously have massive launch numbers. This to me is the strongest evidence yet that sales are extremely solid.
  • Reply 3 of 118
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    So, not only were Slice wrong, they were extraordinarily wrong.

    Wow.
  • Reply 4 of 118
    red oakred oak Posts: 986member
    Get your headline right. Cook did not "deny Apple Watch sales collapse"
  • Reply 5 of 118
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,985member
    slurpy wrote: »
    Seems pretty damn impressive that June surpassed their launch month, since Apple products obviously have massive launch numbers. This to me is the strongest evidence yet that sales are extremely solid.
    I ordered on launch day, but my credit card wasn't charged until it shipped in June. I assume that my sale would qualify as a June sale.
    That would make this revelation a little less revealing...
  • Reply 6 of 118
    milkmagemilkmage Posts: 152member

    then you must have had a fancy version. Everyone I know who ordered around the announcement got theirs long before June.. don't forget the sport is the one that will sell the most.

  • Reply 7 of 118
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member
    red oak wrote: »
    Get your headline right. Cook did not "deny Apple Watch sales collapse"

    He kinda did.
  • Reply 8 of 118
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    I've written that I'd wait for the 2nd or 3rd gen watch before jumping in, but if the next iteration is sold as being waterproof and with a greater variety of sports bands, it could speed my purchase decision.

    Not going to happen. Waterproof v water resistant are very different things. I think we could get a resistance of 1ATM within a few generations, but I doubt that as that would imply swimming which could introduce chlorine, salt, and other impurities into things like the mic and speaker that, while sealed, might affect usage over a long time if used in those ways, so I'd say that we'll likely not see anything officially from Apple. All I'm really hoping for is swimming app from a 3rd-party on the Watch App Store.

    red oak wrote: »
    Get your headline right. Cook did not "deny Apple Watch sales collapse"

    Can you clarify what you mean by Cook didn't deny that Watch sales collapsed in June?
  • Reply 9 of 118
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    bageljoey wrote: »
    I ordered on launch day, but my credit card wasn't charged until it shipped in June. I assume that my sale would qualify as a June sale.
    That would make this revelation a little less revealing...

    But if that was the norm and not an outlier my guess is Cook wouldn't have made the statement. Surely Apple has data on when a sale was placed vs when the credit card was charged.
  • Reply 10 of 118
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    So Cook was cagey and buried actual sale numbers because of competitors? What competitors? I'm sorry but that's a load. If the sales numbers were anything worth bragging about, and Cook wasn't concerned about them being taken negatively by investors, the media, and the market in general, he would have openly published them. Comparing sales to those of the iPhone or iPad, which cost twice as much, isn't good enough.
  • Reply 11 of 118
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,924member
    Silly Tim, analyst know more about Apple's biz than you. Who do you think you are? A CEO of the most valuable company in the U.S.? Pfffft. You're not on CNBC daily, Tim.
  • Reply 12 of 118
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,774member

    That's pretty amazing that demand has increased. i have noticed more people actually wearing their AW's when I go out and about. My friend just texted me now with his. 

  • Reply 13 of 118
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,924member
    cash907 wrote: »
    So Cook was cagey and buried actual sale numbers because of competitors? What competitors? I'm sorry but that's a load. If the sales numbers were anything worth bragging about, and Cook wasn't concerned about them being taken negatively by investors, the media, and the market in general, he would have openly published them. Comparing sales to those of the iPhone or iPad, which cost twice as much, isn't good enough.

    Sell your stock and quit whining. We all knew back in Oct no numbers would be reported.

    It's enough for me. Why isn't it good enough for you?
  • Reply 14 of 118
    portcityportcity Posts: 68member
    bageljoey wrote: »
    I ordered on launch day, but my credit card wasn't charged until it shipped in June. I assume that my sale would qualify as a June sale.
    That would make this revelation a little less revealing...

    That is true. June sales are probably better then the other months because that's when many April and May purchases were deducted from accounts since there was no charge until the device shipped. The Apple watch needs its own category in order to see how successful it is. Saying "it's sales beat our expectations" doesn't mean anything because those expectations could have been low.
  • Reply 15 of 118
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,924member
    portcity wrote: »
    That is true. June sales are probably better then the other months because that's when many April and May purchases were deducted from accounts since there was no charge until the device shipped. The Apple watch needs its own category in order to see how successful it is. Saying "it's sales beat our expectations" doesn't mean anything because those expectations could have been low.

    So? It's what they expected sell. They do more research and have more data than wild guessing analysts.
  • Reply 16 of 118
    uktechieuktechie Posts: 67member
    I'm sure a lot of people are holding off while they mull it over and wait for friends to report back on their Apple Watch. It's a very different kind of product and a big leap of faith to buy one early on.

    I'm delighted with my Apple Watch (Sport) and love being able to talk to Siri. Our not-particularly techie accountant loves her Apple Watch too, and I know my wife and a few friends want one now after hearing me rave about mine.

    Once word gets around that it is genuinely useful, I think there will be a steady increase in demand, as there was for the iPad etc. then it will snowball.

    While a lucky few might buy a gold Edition, I think it really helps Apple to sell cheaper models. £340 doesn't seem expensive compared with the £9000 plus the Edition sells for. The gold model doesn't do anything my Sport doesn't, so I *must* have got a bargain... The mere fact that the Edition exists makes it my Sport feel like a good deal...
  • Reply 17 of 118
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    Nice stock price drop, good time to buy with low pe ratio, decent dividend rate, and very little risk at this point with their $200+ billion cash hoard and further pending buybacks.
  • Reply 18 of 118
    atlappleatlapple Posts: 496member

    This was the product that was going to set the fashion industry on fire, make Swiss watch makers shake with fear and take over wearable technology. So Cook is trying to tell us this product is doing just fine and the numbers peaked yet he included them in "other products"

     

    Why would you not report best-ever performance? If the best ever performance was in June I hate to see how bad it was before June. This is fairly simple to figure out, a surge on the day of release, followed by slow sales and then a peak when they hit retail stores. That doesn't equal great sales. 

     

    Anytime Tim Cook speaks about the Apple Watch he sounds like he is stepping all over himself. I would say something else but I would get a vulgar language violation. 

  • Reply 19 of 118
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,985member
    milkmage wrote: »
    then you must have had a fancy version. Everyone I know who ordered around the announcement got theirs long before June.. don't forget the sport is the one that will sell the most.
    Nope. Space grey Sport 42. But I didn't order until later in the day. I ordered a SS 12 hours earlier but changed my mind...
    rogifan wrote: »
    But if that was the norm and not an outlier my guess is Cook wouldn't have made the statement. Surely Apple has data on when a sale was placed vs when the credit card was charged.
    Yes and no. This could be a subtitle spin. Everybody knows Apple has huge launch day demand for most of their big ticket items. If they want to combat the idea that later demand is not super high, they could say what they did despite the fact that it could be misleading. Launch month sales were actually limited to sales of part of one day due to supply constraints and May sales were also very constrained. June saw Apple catching up with initial demand and starting sales in new batches of countries.
    In all honesty, it makes sense that June sales would be higher--but we have no way to compare it to initial demand.

    Still, I have high expectations for the Apple Watch. I think the early focus on celebrities gave many people the idea that it was only a luxury item--many of the comments I got when people first saw mine were "Wow! You can afford that?!?" or "Does it work? I heard there were problems with the Apple Watch." As more people see them in the wild and as the incredible user satisfaction permeates, I expect more and more demand.
  • Reply 20 of 118
    revenantrevenant Posts: 621member

    i guess that is how anti-apple news works: 

     

    get some numbers about google, samsung, or microsoft products

    change the name to apple

    call it an analytic report

    give it to the media

    hope no one calls you out

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