Tim Cook refutes negative IDC Apple Watch report, says early holiday sales set new record

in Apple Watch edited December 2016
Responding to a recent IDC report claiming less than rosy Apple Watch sales for the third quarter of 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook late Monday said the wearable device's performance actually set a new record during the first week of holiday shopping on the way to what could be its best quarter ever.

Though Cook declined to offer specifics in an email provided to Reuters, his remarks represent a rare public rebuttal to quarterly sales forecast data issued by independent market research firms.

Earlier today, IDC said Apple Watch posted a whopping 71 percent year-over-year sales contraction in quarter three due to an "aging lineup and an unintuitive user interface." Analysts at the firm believe Apple will see minimal success in the category because of continued pressure from manufacturers marketing less-functional, but cheaper, fitness bands.

Apple does not break out Apple Watch numbers in its quarterly earnings reports, instead lumping the product in with iPods, accessories and other miscellaneous hardware. Cook likewise remained mum on exact figures in tonight's note. He did, however, say that Apple Watch sell-through reached a new high during the first week of holiday sales.

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

Apple is marketing two versions of Apple Watch this holiday shopping season -- Apple Watch Series 2 and the refreshed Series 1 -- both of which saw release in September. While Series 1 upgrades stop at an updated S2 processor, the Series 2 features a GPS radio, a water resistant chassis good for swimming down to 50 meters and a brighter display, among other enhancements.

The new Apple Watch Series 2 also comes in an aluminum Nike+ version that boasts specialized sports tracking features, as well as a luxe white ceramic Edition model which takes the place of last year's solid gold variants.


  • Reply 1 of 87
    Well we know what Tim Cook thinks of IDC and fake Apple News!
    Solilondorchasmlostkiwi[Deleted User]irelandDave Spencecalialbegarcnetmage
  • Reply 2 of 87
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,729member
    If I didn't know any better I'd be inclined to think that Tim Cook had coffee or a beer with Sog this weekend LOL.
    lostkiwi[Deleted User]Dave Spence1983bobroopatchythepirateretrogustopalominewatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 87
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member
    I hate Apple today. iCloud is still down for me. Can't sign into iTunes either. Just so frustrating.

    Apple Watch? No. I personally will not be purchasing any more Apple gear until the company gets its existing stuff including the cloud working reliably. 
    indieshackstanhopeavon b7
  • Reply 4 of 87
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Unusual for Cook to tangle with analysts, but IDC has moved so far from reality I guess he felt he had to say something. 

    But it as ridiculous as this claim was, I don't think it was half as ridiculous as the people here who believed that the fictious tank in sales was because the Apple Watch doesn't have a round face. 

    The Moto360 has a round face. How's that doing?


  • Reply 5 of 87
    IDC quarter on quarter, year on year show apple to be doing poorly. Yet quarter on quarter, year on year Apple have been selling unimaginable quantities of goods, while those painted as successful by IDC either go bankrupt or leave the business entirely.
    lostkiwiDave Spence1983lkruppcaliwlymalbegarcalxsbrnetmagepatchythepirate
  • Reply 6 of 87
    I assume IDC has some form of reasonably accurate retail sales metrics (if not, they shouldn't be in the business of writing notes such as this). Everything is relative and I'm sure watch sales are doing OK - we're talking about Apple products after all - but I don't think Watch sales are burning up and I agree with IDC that it's a competitive market. The fact that Cook felt the need to reply I think says more about his perceived personal status than about Apple. Really think it's time for fresh blood there.
    cropravon b7
  • Reply 7 of 87
    The melancholy associated with Apple Watch sales and possibly to some extent Apple sales in general may in part be attributable to the unease surrounding the tense and historical election, its rabid preliminaries and the uncertainty going forward with the political dynamics here and abroad. A multi faceted socio/psycho Malaise that has stopped many in their tracks. Not me though, I am enjoying my Apple tools and toys regardless. Best to all on all sides of that last diatribe!
    Dave Spence1983blastdoor
  • Reply 8 of 87
    Well you assume wrong.  Think about could they have a "reasonably accurate" sales metrics for Apple when Apple doesn't release Apple Watch sales???  Not only does Apple sell through many third party, like Target, Best Buy, Kohl's, etc., but Apple has the bulk of its sales through its own stores and websites that these guys can only take a WAG at.  As a result, they end up making up a lot of stuff.  No one can call them on it because no one knows and it becomes nice click bait (Apple Watch sales plunge 75%!) .  Finally, Cook had enough and called them out on their fake news. Good for him to show them up as liars and frauds.
    EsquireCatschasmlostkiwi[Deleted User]Dave Spencesmiffy311983mike1albegarcnetmage
  • Reply 9 of 87
    "I assume IDC has some form of reasonably accurate retail sales metrics"

    well there you have it.... are you sure... lol, IDC is in the business of making money that means they must keep their customers happy and buying into the hype.

    Perhaps you should ask the question who their customers actually are. Then you might start to get the truth?

    EsquireCatslostkiwiirelandDave Spencestantheman1983calinetmagejbdragonjony0
  • Reply 10 of 87
    patsupatsu Posts: 430member
    Nah, Apple should correct bad numbers as they see fit. New folks continue to join the industry. They should learn the track records of market research firms and analysts.

    IDC has always have poor forecasts. Maybe their pro-Windows stance colored their numbers. Most infamous is their grotesquely high multi-year windows phone prediction.

    edited December 2016 EsquireCatslostkiwiirelandDave Spence1983calinetmage
  • Reply 11 of 87
    I obviously cannot speak for anybody else, but I still like my first gen Apple Watch, and continue to wear/use it everyday.
    lostkiwiirelandbuckaleccalialbegarcanantksundaramjustin freitasnetmagechristopher126GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 12 of 87
    Apple should address these BS-news more aggressively, so TC is right to comment on these numbers.
    lostkiwi[Deleted User]anantksundarampalominewatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 87
    IDC cherry-picks their numbers and massages the data to make it say what they want it to say. It is so transparent and their anti-Apple bias apparent. 
  • Reply 14 of 87
    adybadyb Posts: 205member
    duervo said:
    I obviously cannot speak for anybody else, but I still like my first gen Apple Watch, and continue to wear/use it everyday.

    Me too - Watch OS3 has given mine a new lease of life, so much so that for my usage, I see no need to upgrade.  I suppose this will be seen as a problem with 'built in non-obsolescence', the same way that the iPad 2 my wife uses is still chugging away after 5 years of use!!
    lostkiwi1983calijustin freitasrare commentnetmagemagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 87
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,413member
    Notsofast said:
    Well you assume wrong.  Think about could they have a "reasonably accurate" sales metrics for Apple when Apple doesn't release Apple Watch sales???
    Agreed. Bear in mind that Tim Cook is under *significant legal obligation* to be truthful in all his public utterances (which is why he says little and is often vague). Here he is being specific: IDC has made up their numbers (this is NOT the first time they've been caught doing so), and they are wrong. He really couldn't say that legally unless Apple Watch sales are, in fact, on track to be the best ever. Note that this is not the same thing as saying they'll outsell the iPhone, just that they'll do even better than they did at Christmas last year. For reference, the consensus Wall Street estimates from after Xmas last year estimated Apple Watch sales at 6M units. So what Tim is saying is that they will at least meet, and likely beat, that figure this quarter. Now that's not a lot of units compared to the iPhone, but think about this for a second: that's quite a bit more than they'll sell of Macs. It's probably the third most-successful product line Apple has (I'm assuming iPads will outsell it somewhat, but we won't know for sure). So, is it a hit? If it isn't, then the Mac is a flop. So ...
  • Reply 16 of 87
    I wonder if IDC et al ever have to backup or explain their figures when proved so wildly wrong. A company can be fined if it's falsely reported sales or earnings, I see this as no different as it manipulates the stock market based on lies.
  • Reply 17 of 87
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    IDC should change their branding to "IDK and IDC".
    irelandking editor the gratecalianantksundaram[Deleted User]justin freitaspatchythepirateretrogustoStrangeDayspalomine
  • Reply 18 of 87
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member
    Cooks use of the word sell through indicates that they may well have had a bad quarter last quarter. Sell through is sales from channel 
  • Reply 19 of 87
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    sockrolid said:
    IDC should change their branding to "IDK and IDC".
  • Reply 20 of 87
    irelandireland Posts: 17,798member
    asdasd said:
    Cooks use of the word sell through indicates that they may well have had a bad quarter last quarter. Sell through is sales from channel 
    While this is true, do you see a sudden jump in sell through for a product that has existed for a few years for no reason. Cook wouldn't have commented on this unless he was confident. I know of someone who just bought one. People seem to like them. Especially since OS 3 and the new faster watches.
    edited December 2016 magman1979watto_cobra
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