Apple Watch Sales

How many Apple Watches has Apple so far this holiday season? Apparently your guess as good as anyone's... (Image source: Apple.com) 

How many Apple Watches has Apple so far this holiday season? Apparently your guess as good as anyone's... (Image source: Apple.com) 

Remember when Apple decided that it was not going to disclose the Apple Watch sales numbers and that it will combine the Watch's sales numbers with other products like the iPod. Apple's reasoning for this move was to not reveal too much information to its competitors. This move from Apple seems to have opened a Pandora's box of sorts. Generally analysts and journalists have tried to estimate the Apple Watch sales using market research, polls and of course the "encrypted" Apple sales numbers. But this has led to a lot of variation in the (estimated) sales numbers. First we got numbers from IDC (via AppleInsider) that painted a terrible picture for Apple Watch sales, almost 70% down compared to last year. It also said that Apple Watch was losing market share to cheaper FitBit style health monitors.

IDC claimed that Apple’s downturn for the quarter was mostly attributable to an “aging lineup and an unintuitive user interface.” The firm’s analysts argued that Apple’s success in the category will be at best “muted” because of continuing challenges in the category.
— via AppleInsider

To follow this up, in a move that was almost first of its sort, Apple CEO, Tim Cook responded publicly (via Reuters), refuting the article's claims and saying the Apple watch sales this holiday season has been much better than the last and that it was doing great. 

Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year... 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.
— Tim Cook via Reuters

And today in a total reversal of trends, Slice came up with numbers (via AppleInsider, claiming that Apple watch has done phenomenally well so far and its market share has actually increased by almost 10%. from last year.

New data collected by Slice Intelligence shows Apple holding a commanding 46.6 percent of the holiday market share of wearables’ online revenue so far, up from 37 percent at the end of November 2015. Apple’s main competitor in the overall space Fitbit, has fallen from 36.8 percent of the revenue, down to 31.9 percent this year.
— via AppleInsider

In the end no one (other than Apple of course) knows the actual Apple Watch sales numbers. But at least personally my anecdotal evidence for a product selling well is how many Apple watches I see day to day. And in this totally un-scientific experiment, I generally notice one Apple watch for every two or three smart watches or fitness trackers (that you wear around your wrists). You be the judge for a conclusion on this topic. But having been working on loads of data all my career, believe me when I say data can be most informative and at the same time, most elusive or data without context can only lead to misleading conclusions!

Also head over to my recent post on Smart Watches here for more information on this topic.